INTRODUCTION: “Constructingthe place to live for others but failing to construct living for them” aptly presentsthe case of construction labors who work under rough conditions only to earnwages which is just enough for living. Construction industry is major source ofemployment to people working in unorganized sector arguably employing secondonly to agriculture sector. 1With infrastructure development being one of the major demands of thiscompetitive world economy construction worker form its backbone. Even thoughconstruction work becoming demand of present its backbone i.e. constructionworkers are prone to severe economic, social, political impediments in theirdaily life.
Constructionlabor are mostly “migrants from small villages, town or even states” 2performing unskilled and semiskilled work in construction sites. Theybasically forms unorganized sector of economy or in “they have not been able toorganize themselves in pursuit of their common interest owing to certainconstraints like casual and uncertain nature of employment, ignorance andilliteracy, small and scattered size of establishment etc”. 3Uncertaintyof getting jobs put them under hands of contractors which results in low wages.
“Low wage rates are one of the most tragic problems for them”. 4However it is not sole problem; health and safety issues at construction sites,availability of proper roof over head, irregularity of income, lack of properrepresentation in politics and no social security are some others of many more.To provide basic human rights as well as to sustain construction industrytherefore it makes on part of government to take action to lessen the burden ontheir shoulders.Thismade government to make legislation such as The Building And Other ConstructionWorker (RECS) Act 1976, The Building And Other Construction Worker (CESS) Act1976, Workmen Compensation Act, Minimum Wage Act, policies such as Atal PentionYojna, Food Securities act, etc. to improve socio- economical aspect of life ofconstruction labor.
Theseschemes and guideline lines seems perfect effort on the part of government formaking the condition of construction less painful but fails to present theground level reality were worker in this unorganized sector are being deniedtheir rightful wages and being exploited at the hands of contractor also thesafety and security major at works place seems far fenced dream with guidelineby government ignored and making work place prone to hazardous risks.Theresearch tries to understand the plight in life of construction labor byconducting empirical research using questionnaire and interviewing theconstruction labors, the research tries to identify problem on issue ofeconomic security, living standards, health and accidental risks and tries tofind out government policies for them and after analyzing policies put forwardsthere loopholes and try to suggest changes or any other suggestion inthem. LITERATUREREVIEW: Theliterature on construction labors mostly includes research papers and scholararticles highlighting the grievances in their life.
Literature reveals thatmost of the labors are very young in age around 45% are from 20-40 age group.Majority consists of men workers and average wage lies around 3000 per week.The literature reveals about causality of employment and how bargaining powerof labor are nothing in front of powerful employers. The nature of work is alsoseasonal and dependent on availability of water, literature talks aboutmigration of workers in big city from villages and around 70% of constructionlabors in migrates from northern region. (Chavan Prabhakar.
S, 2015).5Literaturereveals that around 60% of workers lives in tin sheds and around 25% of sitesprovides for sheds inside sites. The construction sites don’t have any propertoilets and no special arrangements for women labor. The literature talks abouthow majority of construction workers are dependent on public source for waterand around 66% of construction companies do not provide helmets to theirworkers. Studies suggest that majority of children of construction workers donot go to schools (76% approx), mostly employers do not provides for medicaltreatments and they do not get holidays on weekly basis (Kumar. Deepa).
6Literaturetalks about excess of supply in construction industry then requirement andreveals that women are only around 30% of workers in industry. The reason forit is provided as taking care of children, harsh working condition, noprovision of leaves, and most importantly wage discrimination7.(SpoonerDave and Hopley Annie, 2011). Literature also reveals about relation betweenworking for more No. of hour and development of bad habits and illness inlabors along with migration the same relation can also be traced withunavailability of social security8(Pramanik Surapati ,Chackrabarti Sourendranath, 2013). Muchliterature reveals about relation of occurrence of accident and injuries withsize of project around 16% of small and 13% of big project workers are at riskof injuries and with complex mechanization it is necessary to have close lookon safety measure in construction sites ( Kanchana, S.
2015) 9Literaturereveals that initially problem of construction workers for which mostly voicebeing raised was low wage rate being initially they tried to make union fortheir rights Sundra Navelkar one of the first Indian female lawyers and leaderof Communist Party of India Marxist formed first trade union for labors inMumbai and the. basic focus was timelypayment of wages, enactment of minimum wage act,etc. but now focus has beenshifted to asking government directly to interfere and the demand from wages hasshifted to basic human rights. Instruction Workers NGO, explains,”Laborers are not interested in fighting for wages anymore. They are moreconcerned about human rights issues, such as education, malaria, safe childdelivery, and isolation. They don’t want to rebel anymore”(Agrawal Rina, 2008).10Literaturerelated to life and condition of construction includes various research papersproviding as with ground level reality of what is being demanded by variouslegislation how well these guidelines of legislation are being defiled by theemployers.
There are various guidelines and schemes to provide support to thepart of one of the most vulnerable segment of unorganized labor system of Indiai.e. construction workers. These guidelines includes “Guidelines for Safety andHealth on Construction Sites”11by the government which gives various equipment’s that are required to beprovided to the labor handling different types of works like working at height,moving, lifting handling logs, site vehicles. These guidelines are made keepingin mind guidelines by ILO (Safety and Health. Also there other schemes likeMinimum wage Act 1948, Worksmen Compensation Act, to provide construction laborwith their due wage and to compensate construction labor in case of accident atwork place respectively. While there other schemes that are not madeparticularly for construction labor but do encompass them like various BPLschemes like AnatodayaYojan.
Thereare also specific acts such as Building and Construction Labor (Regulation ofEmployment and Condition of Services act) and Building and Construction LaborWelfare Cess Act. 1996 which ask for various employer employing more than tenworkers to take various welfare measure and set fund according to prescribepercentage for welfare of labor board set under RECS act. 12Thereare also legislation such as Contract Labor act 1970, Minimum Wage Act 1948 andEqual Remuneration Act 1976 talking about wage rates and other acts such asInter State Migrant Workers Act 1978 talking about plight of interstate migrantworkers. Most importantly new bill on construction labor has been send tostanding committee in 2013 by government but till now the bill has not beenpassed. RESEARCH QUESTIONS: · What is socio-economic state ofconstruction labor?· What is the state of current policiestowards construction labor. Are they aware of these policies and what areloopholes and suggestions?OBJECTIVES: · To analyze and study state ofconstruction labor· To understand the difference in the lifeof upper middle class and construction labor· To know the policies for upliftment,support and security of construction labor · To understand political awareness andtheir representationHYPOTHESIS: The research assumes thatconstruction laborers are not considered a part of society and just treated asa utility which they provide.
Also this research assumes that they do not haveenough political representation as most of them do not exercise their right tovote as they either migrate or do not have proper documentation. This researchalso assumes that due to these factors these laborers are stuck in a cycle ofpoverty and are isolated from the middle class and upper class society.METHODOLOGY: Theresearch is being carried out by using empirical and doctrinal method ofresearch. The research is based on interview, questionnaire and narration ofconstruction labors. The research will be carried out in four different sitesand with the interview of at least 40 construction labors.
The questionnaire isframed to understand social, economic and political condition of constructionlabors. Then the data will be analyzed and presented in organized manner todraw conclusion from the study. The secondary data and doctrinal method will beused to understand and analyze various literatures on construction labors andto analyze policy and legislation of government on them. Than the loopholes inpolicies and problem faced by construction labors based on survey has beentried to be answered and at last policy improvement and suggestion in policies willbe made.LIMITATION: Theresearch has tried to cover utmost possible aspects of socio, economic andpolitical life of construction labors but research suffers from certainlimitations.
Out of them some are:· The research has been carried out inlimited time period and life of construction labors has not been observed forlong period of time and in every season of year.· The research focuses on limited issuesrelated to research question and other important issues such as constructionlabor and technological development etc has not been included due to limitedscope of research.· Research tries to deal only with some ofmost important acts related to construction labors and all acts are not beenincluded.· Research has been carried out on only 80workers due to limited research team member and larger sample has not beenexamined.
· Research is restricted on limitedavailable secondary source of data for analyzing life of construction labors.DIVISION OFLABOR: Theresearch work has been divided between 4 team members as follows:· Ashish MishraTo do policy researchfor any existing laws or bills in support of Construction laborers by theCentral government.To accompany Sidharthto at least 2 construction sites and to interview at least 20 laborers.
To proof read theSynopsis. To prepare questionsfor the interview.· Sidharth SharmaToresearch existing studies and articles on the state of construction laborers inIndia.Toaccompany Ashish to at least 2 construction sites and to interview at least 20laborers.Torecord and edit the recording for the purpose of presentation.Toprepare questions for the interview.
· Shiv Kumar SharmaToresearch existing policies by the Central government regarding Minimum wageact. MNREGA and identify and study the migration patterns of constructionlaborers.Toaccompany Sriram to at least 2 construction sites and to interview at least 20laborers.Tohelp with the direction and presentation of the short video documentarydepicting the plight of the construction laborers.
Toprepare the questionnaire.· Sriram PrasadToresearch policies of the state government regarding construction laborers.Toaccompany Shiv to at least 2 construction sites and to interview at least 20laborers.Toproof read the final draftToprovide technical support for the video documentation of the constructionlaborers.Toprepare the questionnaire1 “Construction Workers.
” Construction Workers in theInformal Economy | WIEGO. Accessed January 15, 2018.http://www.wiego.org/informal-economy/occupational-groups/construction-workers.
2 Kumar, Dileep. “Problem ofconstruction labor: a quantitative research”. Indian MBA.
com. May 7,2006.Accessed January 15,2018.http://www.indianmba.com/Faculty_Column/FC340/fc340.html3 Pramarik, Surapati. “A study onproblem of construction worker in west Bengal using Neutrosophic Science”.
International Journal on Science innovationengineering and Technology. Vol. 2, Issue11 (November 2013). https://pdfs.semanticscholar.
org/9eaf/f7cdfc046ea669286720a32a326d8d25daae.pdf4 Agrawal, Rina. Reshaping Social Contract: Emergingrelationship between state and informal labor.
Theory and Society, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Aug., 2008), pp. 375-408.http://www.
jstor.org/stable/pdf/40211043.pdf 5 Chavan, Prabhakar.”Problem ofconstruction workers in Navi Mumbai city”.
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indianmba.com/Faculty_Column/FC340/fc340.html7 Spooner, Dave and Hopley, Annie.”Construction Workers” Women in Informal Occupation: organizing andGlobalizing.com.AccessedJanuary15,2018.
http://www.wiego.org/informal-economy/occupationalgroups/construc-tion – workers.8 Pramarik, Surapati. “A study onproblem of construction worker in west Bengal using Neutrosophic Science”.
International Journal on Science innovationengineering and Technology. Vol. 2, Issue11 (November 2013).https://pdfs.semanticscholar.
org/9eaf/f7cdfc046ea669286720a32a326d8d25daae.pdf9 Kanchana,S. “safety ofconstruction labor at construction sites”.
Thescientific world journal. Vol.2015(2015).https://www.hindawi.
com/journals/tswj/2015/590810/#B310 Agrawal, Rina. Reshaping Social Contract: Emergingrelationship between state and informal labor. Theory and Society, Vol.
37, No. 4 (Aug., 2008), pp. 375-408.http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/40211043.
pdf11″Guideline for safety of labor atconstruction sites”. Accessed 15 January2018. http://labor.
govmu.org/English/Documents/Code%20of%20Practice/guidelines/5.%20Guidelines%20for%20Safety%20and%20Health%20on%20Construction%20Sites.pdf.12 Koushik, Anup. “Labor welfarecess and implication on construction industry”. Lakshmishri.
com. Accessed 15January 2018.https://www.lakshmisri.com/News-and-Publications/Archives/Publication/Labor-welfare-cess-and-its-implications-for-the-construction-industry