SAI has joined with the Fair Labor Association, amfori, Fair Wear, ICS, and the American Apparel & Footwear Association in a letter urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to uphold the Government of India’s commitment to worker rights and fair labour in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has had serious consequences for global supply chains, demonstrating the inextricable link between health and well-being of workers, communities, and businesses. We hope that the Government of India will respond to the crisis with leadership policies that recognize this link as the key to recovery.
However, some Indian states have adopted legislative proposals to significantly relax or suspend labor protections, arguing that such modifications would help Indian employers cope with the effects of the pandemic and boost investment in manufacturing industries. The proposed amendments, however, would have immediate and grave consequences for workers in those states.
We respectfully request Prime Minister Modi to:
- ensure that the restrictions on labour laws promoted by the state governments are not implemented;
- encourage those governments to consult with affected stakeholders, including trade unions, before proposing additional changes to state labour laws; and
- ensure that all eight fundamental ILO Conventions are implemented in India.