Hundreds of workers protested in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India, on 22 and 23 August 2022 against the government’s new labour laws that consolidate 44 labour laws into four codes. The new labour codes, which cover wage regulation, industrial relations, social security and occupational safety, and health and working conditions, would deprive workers of their basic rights to go on strike, to form unions and to bargain with management.
The demonstrations were held ahead of a meeting with all of India’s labour ministers in the state of Andhra Pradesh intended to discuss the formulation and implementation of rules under the labour laws. Union leaders submitted a memorandum to the district administration after the rally, raising concerns over the new labour codes, which seek to weaken workers’ rights while promoting companies’ interests.
Despite strong opposition from unions across India, the Modi government held an all-states meeting on 25 and 26 August to ensure that state governments enforce the new codes.