SHILLONG, April 30 - May Day will be celebrated across the world tomorrow, but thousands of workers in the unorganised sectors in Meghalaya are being subjected to exploitation and are staring at an uncertain future.
A lot of these workers are engaged in shops and business establishments. There is no data on the exact number of workers employed in the unorganised sectors of the State.
�We do not have any data about the workers in the unorganised sectors of the State,� Minister in charge of Labour Prestione Tynsong said on the eve of May Day while extending his greetings on the occasion.
Some of the workers are exploited to such an extent that they do not get a single holiday in a week. This is the case in some shops and business establishments, especially in Police Bazaar and Bara Bazaar � locally called Khyndialad and Motphran.
A worker engaged in some of these shops work all the year round except when they are medically indisposed. In fact, during festivals, these workers put in extra labour without any leave, and many of them are even denied overtime allowances.
�We are concerned about the condition of the workers and would ask the employers to strictly abide by the rule that there must be a day�s leave in a week for employees,� Tynsong stated.
Under the Meghalaya Shops and Establishment Rules, 2004, a notice of weekly closure is to be prominently displayed in every shop. The shops and establishments are, however, at liberty to choose any day of the week to down their shutters.
Labour inspectors are required to verify adherence to this notice, but this provision is blatantly violated due to an indifferent monitoring mechanism. �I would ask our labour inspectors to conduct regular checks so that the rights of the labourers are not violated,� the minister said.
Meanwhile, Tynsong stated that there are 40,000 registered construction workers in the State, and that they have been covered under welfare schemes like medical benefits, children�s education, etc. These benefits are applicable under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Condition of Service) Act, 1996.