The Centre on Wednesday said it will make it compulsory to issue distinctive identifiers for all building and construction workers across the country. The move is aimed at safeguarding the rights of migrant workers, reported news agency PTI. The announcement came a day after the 41 workers trapped in a collapsed tunnel in Uttarakhand were successfully rescued.
The designated identifier, connected to Aadhaar numbers, will be seamlessly integrated into the e-Shram database. The primary objective is to enhance the accessibility and portability of benefits for the workers involved. Whether an individual finds themselves in Delhi today or Mumbai tomorrow, the entitlements for their families should remain readily available, according to statements made by Labour Secretary Arti Ahuja.
Ahuja explained these during her address at ‘The Migration Conclave’, an event organized by the All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE) and FICCI, with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO), held in the national capital. The imminent supplementary release, anticipated within the next week, is expected to provide further details on these reformative measures.
In her speech, Ahuja elaborated on the challenges stemming from the increasing employment of unregistered outsourced labour through contractors, reported PTI. The upcoming changes in the four labour codes will mandate contractors to extend comprehensive benefits to these workers, aligning with the Interstate Migrant Workmen Act. These provisions cover aspects such as minimum wages, occupational safety, and access to fundamental amenities like toilets and worksite creches.
Additionally, the ministry is devising strategies to ensure adequate shelter, sanitation, and awareness of entitlements at various work locations, the PTI report stated. Emphasizing a tripartite mechanism involving workers’ organizations, she stressed the importance of addressing specific concerns faced by migrant workers within industries.
Satoshi Sasaki, the Deputy Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), underscored the significance of labour migration in the present and future labour market. He shed light on the opportunities and challenges faced by migrant workers, exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on access to decent work.