An Ahmedabad-based lawyer served a notice to the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on behalf of the inter-state migrant workers over non-payment of wages and ill-treatment.
The workers were working as contractual labourers for the construction of the new IIM Building.
The notice served on 19th May, 2020, stated that the principal employer — IIM-A — had not paid the wages to the migrant workers since past two months despite the directives laid out by the central government to continue paying wages irrespective of the lockdown.
Rare occurance. India's top most business school has been served with a legal notice by migrant labourers for non payment of dues. मज़दूर को कमजोर न समझना। pic.twitter.com/I2AcBlLGhI— Sanket संकेत (@sanket) May 20, 2020
It added that the employer only provided the workers with ration and that it made no evident efforts to send them to their native states after repeated requests in violation of their fundamental rights.
The notice pointed out that the detained workers were not produced before the magistrate. It also stressed that no medical treatment has been extended despite them being “brutally beaten” by the police — clear violation of their fundamental rights.
Labour law violation
The legal notice accused IIM-A of further violating the labour laws. According to the notice, there are around 20 children and around 25-30 women on the construction site, yet the facilities as mandated in the respective labour laws which are to be made available to women and children at construction sites are not provided.
It was also stated that among the detained migrant workers, two of them were found Corona positive and that no steps were taken by the employer around that.
The notice urged the responsible bodies to make sure that all the workers be duly tested.
It also called upon them to ensure that all the contractual labourers are paid their wages and that due arrangements are made for their return to their native states.
It also directed the concerned bodies to ensure that the detained workers are extended necessary medical aid for the injuries inflicted on them by the police. The notice also directed that the detained workers should be freed from illegal confinement so that they could be produced before the concerned magistrate.
Migrant workers in jeopardy
There have been more than 640 reported deaths due to non-Covid-19 reasons as of Tuesday. Around 310 wage and migrant workers have lost their lives due to reasons such as road accidents, medical and authoritative negligence, police harassment, and more.
The centre has directed states to manage inter-state transportation for their workers, and has also resumed its railway services to address the same problem.
In a recent announcement, the centre allocated 1000 crores form the PM Cares so that the migrant workers travelling could be well taken care of by states bodies.
REH has been tracking non-Covid-19 deaths in India. You can follow our live tracker here.