Tuesday, February 18, 2014

South District deliberates on Labour Laws

NAMCHI, 17 Feb: Co-ordination Meeting cum Awareness Programme on Labor Laws was conducted here at Community Hall Namchi today. Organized by the Labor Department the programme was attended by Chairman Labor Welfare Board, Passang R Sherpa as the chief guest, while SDM Namchi,  Ravindra Kumar was present as the guest of honor.
The meeting cum awareness was attended by workers and employers of private companies from various parts of South District. Around 150 workers along with their employers participated in the awareness cum co-ordination meeting.
In his welcome address Deputy Labor Commissioner South, Shiromani Neopaney briefly highlighted on the programme. Commissioner cum Secretary Labor Department, KK Pradhan in his speech explained the need to conduct such awareness and co-ordination meetings on labor welfare laws; and the legal aspects.
He also informed about many facilities that are in the pipeline for the welfare of laborers in South District and mentioned that health and education facilities for the children of laborers along with other basic facilities is important. In a nutshell he informed about various works carried out by the labor department for the welfare of the laborers engaged in various works within the state, and also mentioned the child labor act in brief where he informed that engaging of child as labor is a punishable offence. He appealed to the gathering to help fight against child labor.
Joint Labor Commissioner Headquarter (HQ) DS Kunwar in his address highlighted on important Central and State Rules pertaining to labor like Inter State Migrant Workmen Act, 1979, Sikkim Shops & Commercial Establishment Act, 1983, Employees’ Compensation Act 1923, Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952, Payment of Gratuity Act, Building and Other Construction Workers Act, 1996, Building and Other Workers Welfare Cess Act, 1996 and Minimum Wages Act, 1948. He also urged the employers to understand the social obligations of laborers and provide incentives and promotions to them based on seniority basis and talents.
Joint Labor Commissioner East, KR Limboo talked on Bonded Labor Act, 1976, Child Labor (Regulation and Abolition) Act 1986 and Sikkim Labor Protection Act, 2005. He informed that the concerned department has been working to make Sikkim a child labor free state.
While, SDM Namchi, Ravindra Kumar who was present as the guest of honor talked on the need of motivation and how the laborers and employers can work in coordination for the betterment of both the parties. He said that whenever a laborer feels that he/she is exploited then they can approach the committee at the district administrative level and also assured every possible help and assistance in solving their problems and in addressing their grievance.
The SDM suggested and explained the gathering in brief citing examples pertaining to labor and employer welfare. Representative from Namchi Police Station, Bikash Rai kept forth the problems faced by police when it comes to handling cases related to laborers from outside the state. He mentioned problems like incomplete maintenance of details of laborers including their permanent address and other information; he also talked on need of uniform for laborers, proper accommodation, water supply and other basic necessities.
The chief guest Chairman Labor Welfare Board, Passang R Sherpa, in his address, mentioned the need to provide some benefits to MR workers and laborers working under state government departments. He said that company owners in Sikkim should provide training to local laborers and help them in sharpening their skills, while at the same time highlighted on the need of such meeting cum awareness programme on labor laws. He further requested the concerned department to look into labor welfare aspects.
The programme also included open discussion between the representatives of companies and the departmental officials wherein many queries were answered.

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