The increasing trend of contract labour in India has been aided by the fact that these workers are not only denied equal wages for equal work, but are also denied any social security. Also, as they cannot be part of a trade union, they don’t have the power to fight for their rights.
However, when implemented, the Contract Labour Amendment Bill, pending with the Labour Ministry, would bring wages of contract labourers on a par with those offered to regular workers.
The ministry says it is unlikely the Bill would be tabled in Parliament in the coming monsoon session. A major hurdle before the Contract Labour Amendment Bill is the fact that once it becomes a law, the government would have to bear a financial burden of Rs11,000 crore a year, while the private sector would have spend an additional Rs5,500 crore a year, according to a study by the V V Giri National Labour Institute.
The study added contract labour accounted for 55 per cent of public sector jobs and 45 per cent of all private sector jobs.