[fosscomm] small step for ITEC; giant leap for IT employees
lynn.andrew at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 03:37:43 PDT 2012
On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM, Raj Mathur (राज माथुर) <
raju at linux-delhi.org> wrote:
> On Tuesday 13 Mar 2012, Nidhin Sasi wrote:
> > [snip]
> > The ITEC (IT and ITeS Employees Centre), a support group for IT
> > professionals, and ITHI, a forum of women employees in IT and ITeS,
> > had been campaigning against exemption from the Act.
> > Members of the two forums had campaigned against exemption as well as
> > the proposal to extend the working-hour deadline for women employees
> > from the existing 8 p.m. They had said that extension of
> > working-hour deadline will only help IT/ITeS establishments to get
> > away from their responsibilities of transportation and security for
> > women employees till 10 p.m.
> > ITHI had initiated an online campaign and a petition with signatures
> > from 700 women workers had been submitted to the Labour Secretary
> > and the Labour Commissioner.
> > The Karnataka State Women's Commission had also raised objections to
> > the exemption given to the IT industry from the law on the ground
> > that it leaves wide ground for exploitation of women in the sector.
> This takes the cake for retrogressive outlooks. In effect, it's
> punishing industry for employing women by making it more expensive and
> complex (extra security, extra transport, conformation to laws, etc.)
> And then people whine about there not being enough women in the IT
> If I had an IT company in Karnataka (I presume that's the "State" being
> referred to everywhere, since it is never mentioned by name) I'd
> immediately replace all the women who worked in my office with men in
> order to keep costs and complexity down.
> Responsibility for security and safety of women (or any sector of
> society) cannot be devolved from the state to industry. It is the
> state's job to protect its citizens, and if it is failing in doing that
> it must be held accountable and measures taken to improve the situation.
> Penalising industry (and women) because the state has failed to meet its
> obligations will affect both revenue and, in the long term, gender
Be practical. This was on transportation and security, which is certainly
not going to kill industry.
Here in Delhi, the Police Chief himself has suggested that women stay
indoors at night! . There will always be dark corners and weirdos who
lurk therein. As the proud father of a daughter, I am not going to test the
efficiency of the State in providing universal protection by letting my
daughter go out alone at night.
As practitioners of Free Software we all know that freedom comes at the
price of responsibility. In most democracies, you are given freedom with a
disclaimer on warranty and limited liability on attack from fellow freedom
holders. ;). There is always judicial redressal.
The Labour laws simply define conditions of employment to prevent them from
being converted into abuse. I see nothing wrong with providing safe
transport as part of the job, especially if the working hours are beyond
the limits of normal public transportation. Much as we may deride the
efficacy of the State in personal protection, this is a step in the right
direction - ensure the safety of the employee by placing responsibility on
the employer. One can hardly expect the State to fall over, e.g. by
increasing deployment of police at night and scaling public transportation
with insufficient demand, simply because an industry chooses to keep women
employed beyond normal working hours.
Its another thing completely when the labour laws are abused by labour
unions to secure pay and benefits without accountability. This is what can
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