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24 Sep 2021

Divya Chandrababu and Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times

India: Second state mandates basic 'right to sit' for workers in commercial establishments

"In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, workers stand up for the ‘right to sit’", 24 September 2021

As the struggle began gaining traction throughout Kerala, in 2014, support began pouring in from across the state, including a major agitation by women textile showroom employees in Thrissur. The same year...the state commission for women and then the human rights commission. Two years later, the National Human Rights Commission sought a report from the state on the poor working condition of women workers in textile shops. By 2018, the state government brought the amendment to bring the right to sit, and in January 2019, the law was passed by the state assembly.

...Gender and labour activists in Kerala say there has been a reduction in complaints after the law was amended.


...[O]ver the years, employee unions fought for the right on an individual case by case basis in the state, such as in the showrooms of The Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers’ Cooperative Society, popularly known as Co-optex.


“Such small steps will earn dignity to working women in the unorganised sector. They are the most exploited lot in the country,”...