B Sivaraman | @

B Sivaraman

B Sivaraman has been an active member of CPI(ML) Liberation since 1976. He was a member of the CPI(ML) Polit Bureau and edited its Central organ Liberation for about a decade. After recovering from a debilitating head injury in an automobile accident in 2002 and four years of amnesia, he withdrew from active political work as his mobility is very much restricted but continues to write columns on labour issues and on contemporary left politics.


Labour Law

Comment | Labour welfare schemes are being abolished by Modi government

 First the government abolished the cess acts and cesses in the name of GST, then it started abolishing the welfare fund acts on the pretext of subsuming them under the relevant labour codes. The employers in these industries would no longer have to cough up money to pay these cesses to meet the welfare schemes of the workers  

August 29,2019

Labour Rights

The labour in defence

“We have no other economic demands on the table. The 4 lakh workers from 42 state-owned ordnance factories, DRDO units, all the Military Engineering Service (MES) centres and Army Station Workshops are challenging the government at the policy level. Put an end to privatising defence production. In a sense, the strike is historic. This is for the first time that all the civilian employees under the Department of Defence have come together for a strike action. Earlier workers of only some ordnance production units used to come together.”

January 28,2019

Environment & Labour Rights

Trapped in a rat-hole

Because the powers that be usually turn a blind eye to illegal mining, for the safety enforcement authorities such mines do not exist. There is no question of enforcing any safety standards in them. For instance, on the official website of the Director General of Mining Safety there is not a single reference to rat-hole mining or the Meghalaya tragedy. Such indifference is a greater tragedy that could pave the way for many more Meghalaya-like tragedies.

January 11,2019

Global Eye

New year augurs well for the Global Left

And the leftward shift in Europe is no electoral capriciousness or mere fickle-minded mood swing of the electorate. Rather, they are firmly rooted in the material conditions of austerity, not only in Europe but even to some extent in America. Ten years of austerity as a result of the Eurozone crisis has left the population reeling. Japan has been sinking under the weight of austerity for more than a decade.

January 3,2019

Labour Rights

Why deny ASHA workers minimum wages?

The 45th session of the Indian Labour Conference (ILC), had recommended that all scheme workers should be recognised as ‘workers’ and not as ‘volunteers’ or ‘honorary workers’, should be paid minimum wages and they should get all statutory benefits like pension, gratuity, DA, earned leave, medical leave, and maternity benefits, including child care leave, life and health insurance, etc.

December 27,2018


Farmers’ rally a ticking electoral time-bomb

Instead of coming up with a charter of demands the famers’ organisations had just three demands — an unconditional all-India loan waiver, increase in MSP as per the original Swamianthan formula and, above all, a 21-day special session of the Parliament divided into seven three-day thematic sub-sessions, each with a set of very specific and well-articulated demands.

December 4,2018

Labour Rights

Raw deal for workers

At first sight it might look that IBC is a radical weapon in the hands of the workers. But these are only partial truths. If we draw the overall balance-sheet, the negatives for workers under IBC might far outweigh the advantages.

November 27,2018

Labour Rights

State repression of labour activists peaking

The NDA government in the Centre and the Maharashtra government are trampling upon the entire gamut of rights and not only human rights as understood in the conventional manner. Labour rights, women’s rights and Adivasi rights all are turning into human rights issues because of repression.

November 19,2018

Labour Rights

#MeToo is also a labour issue

Many women victims hesitate to approach the complaints committees because they fear getting doubly victimised in a hierarchic power relation — first through sexual abuse and if they choose to complain then through harassment at work. Moreover, the committees can only report their findings to the top management and it is the management which has to take action. When the senior management officials are accused, how can their juniors conduct impartial enquiry against them?

October 20,2018