Contribution of Labor Day and Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar…

         We celebrate May 1 as ‘Maharashtra Day’ and Labor Day. Democrat Annabhau Sathe says, ‘This earth is not on the head of Seshnaga, it is on the palm of the toilers. The word ‘Kashtkari’ itself tells the importance of labor. Whether it is a laborer working in a field or a laborer working in a factory. There we can see the characters of workers, owners and capitalists. All these three characters are played by the animal called man. But justice is different. In this, labor or workers are treated unequally. His wages are not proportional to his labor. The owner operates it as a machine.

          The donor who broke this injustice came into the life of Kaiwari workers and made their lives golden. The name of this great man is Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. It is equally true that Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar owes the credit to today’s workers or laboring class who seem to be living happily.

          If we want to see the contribution of Dr. Babasaheb to the workers, we have to know his work in brief.

          On January 20, 1942 Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar became a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council. At that time he was entrusted with the labor account. As a member of the Legislative Council of Bombay and a member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council, he contributed immensely to labor law in India. On September 6 and 7, 1943, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, as the Minister of Labor in New Delhi, in a very effective speech, explained the demands of the workers for food, clothing and shelter, education, cultural facilities and health resources.

          Importantly, Dr. Ambedkar has protected the rights of workers while writing the constitution. As per the Constitution, ‘Labor’ is one of the subjects in the ‘Concurrent List’ under the Constitution of India, where both the Central and State Governments are empowered to legislate for the reservation of certain matters for the Central Government.

         Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar founded the Independent Labor Party on 15 August 1936. He published the manifesto of the party in the ‘Times of India’. On 17 March 1938, in the general meeting of the Independent Labor Party in Mumbai, Dr. Babasaheb said, ‘The party of the poor should be run by the poor.’ Workers should fight against injustice, oppression and economic disparity. Only then will workers’ problems be solved by the strength of workers. He gave a message to the workers that they should be self-reliant rather than dependent. Dr. Ambedkar vehemently opposed the rights of workers and restrictions imposed by employers. Jamnadas Metha had opposed the dispute bill by agreeing with the opinion of Dr. Ambedkar. Against this backdrop, on 7 November 1938, the Independent Labor Party and the mill workers decided to go on a symbolic strike. Under the chairmanship of Jamnadas Mehta, leaders like Shripad Dange, Parulekar, Mirajkar etc. and Dr. Ambedkar took the initiative to make the strike successful. The mill owner used police force to thwart the strike. 72 workers were injured. 35 workers were arrested. But the strike was successful. The labor union was victorious. The Independent Labor Party was strengthened. The Independent Labor Party emphasized the need for the welfare of the poor workers and farmers.

           In fact, when Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar was the Labor Minister, it was as if a new sun appeared in the life of the workers.

         He enacted various labor laws. And it should be noted that these laws were not only for Dalit workers but for all Indian workers.

 They can be briefly stated as follows.

 1) Men and women should be paid equally for work without any gender discrimination.

2) Earlier workers had to work continuously for 12 to 14 hours. Now its limit has been reduced to 8 hours, overtime work will be paid twice for extra work.

 3) Establishment of Employment Exchange.

4) Worker Insurance Scheme.

5) Worker Kalyan Scheme (Labor Welfare).

6) Provident Fund Act.

7) The Indian Labor Union Act has been amended to give the trade unions many Empowered.

8) Minimum Wages Act.

9) Maternity Benefit Act to Women Workers.

10) Leave of Absence to Workmen/Employees.

11) Dearness Allowance (D.A.).

12) Coal and Mechamines Provident Fund.

13) Industrial Disputes by Tripartite Committee Provision of Industrial Relations Act.

14) Training of Skilled Workers through Technical Training Scheme.

15) Scheme of Labor Camps for accommodation of workers.

16) Amendment of Workmen’s Compensation Rules.

17) Amendment of Industrial Standing Orders.

18) Bonus Scheme etc.

 19) Demanded in legislature that there should be minimum wage rates for farmers.

 20) In 1937, to stop the exploitation of Bahujan workers in Konkan, a bill was introduced regarding the abolition of Khoti system.

 21) In 1938, under the Konkan Industrial Disputes Bill, workers were deprived of their right to strike. But Dr. Babasaheb, while speaking on this bill, opined that strike is a civil offense and not a criminal offense and further gave the workers the legal right to strike.

 22) In 1938 the ‘Control of Moneylenders’ Bill was introduced.

 23)Bidi workers union was formed to get justice for Bidi workers.

         In this way Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s contribution in his political and social life to improve the condition of workers is invaluable.

 This shows the greatness of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s work. So on this day let’s take one resolution to understand Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, that is to understand the constitution and understand our rights our rights and duties. India’s democracy will be stronger.

 Happy Maharashtra Day and Labor Day to all today…

             Baburao Paikrao