The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) said the call for a day-long protest in 14 states on Wednesday against host of issues, particularly unilateral changes in labour laws, evoked massive participation across the country.
"In response to the call given by the BMS to observe nationwide Protest Day on May 20, 2020 against the unilateral changes in labour laws in 14 states, there was tremendous response from all over the country," a BMS statement said.
BMS has asked the government to consider the plight of the workers and to issue stringent directions for the payment of wages immediately. It also requested the central government to intervene and halt changes in the labour laws by state governments, the union said in a statement.
The union has claimed that the protest was done adhering to social distancing norms.
According to the statement, thousands of BMS activists started demonstration on the roads, roof tops, in front of houses, before government offices and later sent a memoranda to the President of India requesting to negate the anti-labour acts of state governments.
The BMS National President CK Saji Narayanan participated at Thrissur, Kerala and General Secretary Virjesh Upadhyay participated in Delhi suburb and B Surendran All India organizing Secretary participated at Delhi Jantar Mantar demonstration.
The protest is against not making available proper facilities for migrant labourers; non payment of wages for lockdown period; irregularities in providing COVID-19 benefits; not making travel arrangement for migrant labours to return to home states; massive job losses increasing working hours from 8-12 hours; unilateral changes in labour laws in 14 states and against unbridled privatization, it added.
The protest demonstration was held in interior parts of India too.
The Uranium Mines workers in Jaduguda (Jharkhand) have protested in pouring rain, while the copper mine worker of Malajkhand (MP), workers in entire coal belt, marine fish workers of Kerala, migrant labour in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal, Odisha, electricity employees of Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan also participated, it said.
Among others industrial workers of Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand & Delhi, PSU workers, defence employees and railway employees, construction workers in Kalahandi (Odisha), insurance workers in Hubli (Karnataka), steel workers in Burnpur (Bihar), Plantation workers in Assam also protested, it added.
The district units and Industrial Federations have sent memorandums to President of India on labour law changes and local administrations on other issues. Around 450 district Units will send memorandums on Wednesday, it added.