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Informal sector workers to protest for rights on Friday


IANS New Delhi
A workers' rights forum on Thursday gave a call for an agitation by informal sector workers for better wages and working conditions.
The protest to be held at Jantar Mantar on Friday is expected to see the participation of about 5,000 such workers from Delhi and elsewhere.
The agitation was announced here in a press conference where activists associated with the Working People's Charter (WPC) -- an umbrella body of workers which is organising the protest -- highlighted several problems faced by the people working in the informal sector -- for instance sex workers -- on a daily basis.
"The Government doesn't even recognise us (sex workers) as labourers, let alone talk about giving us rights as workers. Instead, it treats us like criminals," Kusum of the All India Network of Sex Workers said.
Dipa Sinha, working with the Right to Food campaign, demanded maternity benefits for women universally and not just for those working in the formal sector.
The group pointed out that about 82 per cent of the total working population work in the informal sector, and about an additional nine per cent work informally in the formal sector.
The group said it will present a memorandum of demands-cum-suggestions to several leaders on Friday.
The group has demanded minimum wage for all equivalent to fourth grade government sector employees, universal maternity benefits, old age pension for all informal sector people at the level of half of the national minimum wage, and Right to Housing, along the lines of Right to Food and Right to Education,
"We will give the memorandum tomorrow to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Union Labour Minister, and Union Minister for Housing. We are in talks with a few other leaders," Nirmal Gorana, a member of the WPC, told IANS.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 8:04 PM IST

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