As protest actions continue in India, CUPE expresses our solidarity with hundreds of thousands of farmers in the streets calling on the government to repeal new agricultural laws that will devastate their livelihoods.
New laws passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020 will deregulate the agriculture markets, removing protections for small scale farmers and giving large corporations power to set prices well below the current rates. Without a guaranteed minimum price for their crops, these farmers are vulnerable to exploitation by major corporations.
Government regulation is necessary. In the agricultural sector, strong regulations ensure the population will have access to a protected food supply, and farmers and their families have access to land and economic security. With 60 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion people relying on agriculture as their main source of livelihood, the impact of these changes will be devastating.
Many countries around the world are using the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to suspend labour laws and attack workers’ rights. As COVID-19 ravages the country, the rights of all working people, not just the farmers, are being attacked by additional business-driven reforms to the Code on Social Security, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code, and Industrial Relations Code.
CUPE supports the farmers, workers, and their allies as they peacefully protest these dangerous reforms and mobilize in remarkable and inspiring ways.