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The history of labour struggle is nothing but a continuous demand for a fair return to labour expressed in varied forms i.e. (a ) Increase in wages, (b) Resistance to decrease in wages, and (c) grant of allowances and benefits etc. If a labourer wants to achieve these gains individually, he fails because of his weaker bargaining power, the management with the better economic background stands in a better position to dictate its terms. The rights of the workers to negotiate and collective bargain are won after a struggle for three centuries right from the beginning of the industrial revolution in 1765. ILO (International Labour Organization) guarantees these rights and many other labour rights with the help of international conventions. India is a founding member of the ILO and it is naturally expected that it doesn’t violate the international labour standards. Para,3 of Art.8 ICCPR provides that no one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory service. ILO has shown its concern in suppression of forced or compulsory labour as adopted Forced Labour Convention 1930 and abolition of forced labour convention 1957.It provides for abolition of “certain forms of forced or compulsory labour constituting the violation of the right of the man reffered to in the Charter of UN and enunciated by the UDHR” In India , beggar and other similar form of forced labour are prohibited under Art 23 of the Constitution. Sanjit Roy v. State of Rajasthan [10] It was observed by the Supreme Court that payment of wages which was less than the minimum wages prescribed by the minimum wages Act could not be justified on the ground that these wages were given by the State to help the people affected by famine or drought. Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India[11] It was observed by the Supreme Court that bonded labour is included within the expression of forced labour, therefore, it is prohibited under Article 23 of the Constitution .It is the Constitutional obligation of state to examine and identify the practice of bonded labour system and to adopt appropriate measures to eradicate it. The Bonded labour System (Abolition ) Act, 1976 was enacted by the Parliament with view to abolish the system of bonded labour and to save the people of weaker section from being exploited economically and physically.
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Category Labour & Service Law, Other Articles by - G. ARAVINTHAN