AGRICULTURAL workers play an important role in agricultural production, of food as well as commercial crops. They make up the largest share of all working people in our country. According to the last Census in 2011 there were 14.43 crore agricultural workers in India. This is about one third of our country’s workforce and 55 percent of the rural workforce. With continuing agrarian crisis, large numbers of small and marginal farmers are compelled to abandon cultivation and join the ranks of agricultural workers. Thus, their number has been rising steadily every year.
BECAUSE of the ever rising prices, the family budgets of workers across the country, in all sectors, are being squeezed. Whatever meagre increases they achieve through their struggles are offset by the rising prices. In effect, this means that for the same money, workers are able to buy less and less amounts of the commodities.
WE want universal social security, that is, social security for all workers, wherever they might be working.
Today a very small section of workers, mainly in the organised sector only are covered by social security benefits like provident fund, ESI, medical benefits, maternity benefit, accident compensation, gratuity, pension etc. Given the tardy enforcement mechanism, encouraged by the governments themselves, even fifty percent of the workers in the organised sector, particularly the contract workers, are also deprived of their legitimate social security benefits.