Limit the number of working hours of an Indian worker to 8 to 9

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Limit the number of working hours of an Indian worker to 8 to 9

Hello,

Thank you for taking time to read my petition. This petition is for all the Indian workers who work in India, for a local or multinational company, found in India or overseas. I work in an IT company. I have worked for multinational IT companies, even Fortune 500 companies. Besides, I have friends who work in Automobile, Engineering, and other sectors. What I have seen is that an average number of work hours that an Indian worker spends in his company is mostly more than the daily shift hours (which is 9 hours). And this has become so common that it has become a norm. If you don’t work more than 9 hours, you are not considered a so-called good employee. Or workers stay in the office more than 9 hours just so that they don’t appear to be lazy or avoiding work in front of others or bosses. Because of such workers, others start to stay back in the office, and the chain reaction spreads until most of the workers stay back. This profits company and not the employee who is actually working hard.

On the contrary, if you see the trend overseas, the workers get paid on an hourly basis. This gives them a reason not to work for more than the fixed number of hours (9 hours) in a day. Because they are not getting paid for extra hours spent in the office. Or company will have to pay them extra for those additional hours, which company cannot do as it can’t afford to pay extra every time. So the general attitude there is that why should I work extra if I am not getting paid. They leave office the minute clock touches 9 hours. Workers there attend and even leave meetings half way through just because they have other work that they want to finish to meet up deadlines, they leave office just in time, and they are available to solve queries only for the limited shift time (and not beyond that).  If at all an issue is urgent, you follow up with them the next day when they are available, or maybe on the day next to that.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is an umbrella organization of national trade unions across the world. The ITUC Global Rights Index depicts the world’s worst countries for workers by rating 139 countries on a scale from 1-5 based on the degree of respect for workers’ rights. The ITUC Global Rights Index serves as a tool to track trends across the world every time changes in policies or legislation take place.

The Global Rights Index covers internationally recognized core labor standards, specifically civil rights, the right to bargain collectively, the right to strike, the right to associate freely and access to due process rights. The ability of workers to organize allows them to use their collective power to achieve improved labor rights, health and safety at the workplace, the right not to be discriminated against and freedom from forced labor and child labor.

According to the report by ITUC, countries with the rating of 5 are the worst countries in the world to work in. These countries have ‘no guarantee of rights’. India falls under the rating 5, surprisingly along with USA. Refer https://www.fastcompany.com/3031015/the-best-and-worst-countries-for-workers  and https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/survey_ra_2017_eng-1.pdf for details.

The countries that are ranked first are, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Lithuania. The description of rank 1 is:

Not regular violations of rights

Collective labor rights are generally guaranteed. Workers can freely associate and defend their rights collectively with the government and/or companies and can improve their working conditions through collective bargaining. Violations against workers are not absent but do not occur on a regular basis

Coming back to the topic, you know that companies have these policy awareness documents, programs, conferences in which they motivate employees to work better, work in alignment of company’s policies, and many a times take responsibility for everything. They urge employees to understand company’s vision, mission, and policies; and work as if they are running their own company. And yet, the same companies doesn’t think much about the employee when he is working an hour or two extra everyday just to meet that deadline, or add value  to delivery or give extra (that company always expects  employee to give). Company expects mountains from an employee but doesn’t actually give back.

When these companies talk of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), I guess this is where their responsibility begins—giving employee their due time, so that they can give that time to their family or themselves. From an Indian perspective, an Indian worker only works, eats, and sleeps the whole week and is available for his family only on the off day. The whole week—he doesn’t give time to his family, can’t take care of some of essential responsibilities like going to bank and visit to doctor, and can’t give time to his personal interests. There are umpteen times when dues to harsh deadlines, he doesn’t even take leaves that are due to him.

I would like to urge you to sign this petition and let every Indian worker have their basic right—work only for the fixed number of hours that the shift requires (8 to 9 hours). I am sure this is not asking for something that shouldn’t be ours. I would even go ahead and say that if they reduce the time given for break (from one hour to half an hour), they can have shifts of 8 hours, which will result in a productive work from employees.

I want this to reach Indian government, state government, and Indian National Trade Union Congress.

Best regards,

Vitish

 



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