USI are looking to bring about sustainable change in the brick kiln sector through a process of [...]
Part of the ancient Teotihuacán site, pictured right, is now underneath a Walmart, after Walmart bribed local officials. Walmart destroys Mexico’s cultural heritage for profit.
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“Organising the workforces to fight for better employment conditions.”
Seasonal migration of wage labourers is on the rise in India; pushed by regional imbalances in growth and the prevalent political economy where migrant workers are preferred over local labour because they are more vulnerable. This huge labour force remains completely unorganised and highly vulnerable to various kinds of exploitation.
Prayas Centre for Labor Research and Action has been working for the last five years to organise brick kiln workers in North and Central Gujarat. It has been able to bring about substantial improvement in material and social well being of the workers. USI’s flagship campaign with brick kiln workers seeks support for replicating this model in other areas in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh by raising £6,200 to support a sustainable model of union organising.
PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO THE INDIA BUILDING SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN BY CLICKING ON THE BELOW BUTTON AND FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS. YOU DO NOT NEED A PAY PAL ACCOUNT TO PROCESS ANY MONIES KINDLY DONATED.
Brick industry in India is labour intensive, employing up to 10 million workers according to some estimates (ILO Report on brick kiln workers). The industry remains completely manual with almost no mechanization. Most brick workers are seasonal migrant workers who migrate for six months or more with their families to kiln sites.
The workers mostly belong to Scheduled Castes/ Tribes and inhabit some of the poorest areas in the country. They constitute one of the most exploited sections amongst unorganized sector workers. The work hours are inhumanly long – up to 16 hours a day. They work for nominal wages under very primitive working and living conditions. Most workers have accumulated debts that they are unlikely to ever pay up fully. As a result, they can be classified as bonded labor. The workers are not only bonded to the owners where they work, but also to the contractors who provide them advance payment, in promise of requisite amount of labour. For more stories on bonded labour read here.