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8 May 2018

End contract system: BJP

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, May 08, 2018, Gangtok: The Sikkim unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday demanded the abolition of the labour contract system within one month, terming it "discriminatory, inhuman and biased".

In a memorandum submitted to the secretary of the state labour department, the BJP insisted that the labour contract system must be abolished within a month. "The labour contract system prevalent in Sikkim is highly discriminatory, inhumane and biased which needs to be abolished at the earliest...We, therefore, give an ultimatum of one month to the labour department to end this cruel system," said D. B. Chauhan, the BJP state unit president, in a memorandum submitted to the secretary of the state labour department.

The party, however, did not reveal what its next course of action would be if the labour contract system was not abolished in a month. Before submitting the memorandum, BJP workers staged a demonstration in front of Shram Bhawan, the headquarters of the labour department here.

Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling had on May Day promised to abolish the system by amending the Sikkim Labour Protection Act, 2005. He had also indicated that the new law would aim at ensuring direct employment of workers, the vast majority of them local people, at factories and companies operating in the state.

Chamling, however, did not set a timeframe to do away with the labour contract system.

Under the existing labour contract system, the companies and factories operating in the state hire workers through a contractor. The workers are not entitled to any benefit that is given to the permanent staff since they are not in the payrolls of the companies.

Apart from the abolition of the labour contract system, the six-point memorandum of the BJP include equal pay for equal work to all the temporary and casual workers employed in various private and semi-government sectors, ensure dignity of labour by improving work condition at work places and equal treatment of both the local and non-local workers.

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