May day gift: Stalin withdraws Factories Amendment Bill

Chennai, May 1 (IANS) In what could be considered as a May Day gift to the factory workers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Monday withdrew the contentious Factories Amendment Bill that had extended their working hours from 8 to 12.
In the face of stiff opposition even by his allies, the Chief Minister had put the Bill on hold.
On April 21, the bill was passed in the state Assembly with even the allies of the ruling DMK strongly opposing it.
The Amendment Bill empowers the state government to exempt any factory, group or class or description of factories from any or all of the provisions of Sections 51,52,54,55,56 or 59 of the Factories Act, 1948 or the rules made thereafter.
Political parties, including the CPI(M), CPI, MDMK, VCK, BJP, PMK and AIADMK had opposed the bill when it was presented in the House on April 21. The Congress which is an ally of the ruling DMK had staged a walkout in protest.
The Joint Committee of trade unions, including the ruling party’s Labour Progressive Front, CITU, had strongly registered their protest against the Tamil Nadu government on the Factories Amendment Bill.
The alliance partners met the Chief Minister on April 25 and requested to repeal the bill. The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) had also strongly condemned the Stalin government for extending the working hours from 8 hours to 12 hours.

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