Trade unions oppose increase of working hours Under the pretext of the COVID19 pandemic lockdown, employer’s bodies are lobbying with the State 

Trade unions oppose increase of working hours
Under the pretext of the COVID19 pandemic lockdown, employer’s bodies are lobbying with the State 
Government to increase the working hours to 12 hours per day (and 72 hours per week) among other anti-
worker amendments such as permitting industries with less than 300 workers to announce lay-off, 
termination & closure without prior permission and exemption for Contract labour registration. The JCTU 
opposes any anti-working class measures under the pretext of the COVID19 lockdown and warns the State 
government of immediate joint militant struggles by the working class against such measures. The JCTU 
urges the government to consider the following issues.
1. According CMIE estimates, the unemployment rate is already over 27% in the country and far higher
unemployment at 30% in the State of Karnataka. In such an environment, increase in working hours 
and allowing employers to fire workers at will add to the unemployment rate. 
2. These measures are aimed to allow employers to fire workers at will and especially the precariously 
employed workers such as contract workers and other temporary workers will lose jobs if there is an 
increase in working hours. We should also note that more than 50% of the workforce in the 
organized industry is in the form of contract, temporary and informal form of employment. Workers 
in the manufacturing sector, Automobile Sector, Garment sector and engineering sector will suffer 
3. India has ratified the ILO convention C001 – Hours of work (Industry) convention 1919. This is the 
international covenant regarding limiting the hours of work to 8 hours per day. India has ratified this 
convention in the year 1921 and therefore any increase in working hours now by the State 
government will push the working class back by 100 years to the colonial era of inhuman 
exploitation of workers. 
4. In order to tide over the economic crisis, the government must take necessary measures to put money 
back in the pockets of the working class to revive the aggregate demand in the economy instead of 
lining the pockets of the rich. Urgent measures must be undertaken to have equitable distribution of 
income is the only way out of the crisis. It is therefore highly disappointing that Government is 
contemplating increase working hours to fatten the purses of the employers.
The working class rights of eight hour day and right to stable employment were hard fought rights gained by 
the working class as a result of pitched struggles. The right to the eight work day is an established
international standard and the move to increase the working day will push the working class to the colonial
British era of exploitation and slavery. The constituent trade unions of JCTU vow to fight tooth and nail to 
defend the eight hour work day and warn the State government against any move to increase the working