Goa archbishop asks industry, government to tackle labour unrest

May 1st, 2009 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, May 1 (IANS) Increasing unrest in Goa’s labour sector has caught the attention of the Roman Catholic church, and Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao has appealed to the state government, private sector and other organisations to immediately tackle the grim scenario in the sector.
“The unrest in the labour force and the fact that, throughout the year, one group of organised labour or another is on strike to voice their grievances and to obtain justice, is grave,” Ferrao said Friday in his Labour Day address.

He also observed that rapid strides made by globalisation and speedy technological advances have left a majority of people worse off, causing serious sociological problems in contemporary society.

“The marginalised have been further pushed to the edge, almost necessitating that they rise up and protest,” he said.

Also, raising the issue of child labour in his address, Ferrao demanded that the Goa government strictly implement the Goa Children’s Act 2003 to ensure that children are not exploited in the state.

“Priority must be given to the large number of the vulnerable child-workers, who are abused physically, mentally and emotionally. The Goa Children’s Act 2003 needs to be used to protect them,” he said, adding that other poorer sections of the workforce, namely daily-wagers, labourers, coolies, domestic workers, migrant workers should also not be ignored.

Ferrao said the church had always responded to the challenges posed by industrialisation.

“In response to the human crisis caused by industrialisation, the church has periodically issued teachings to invite the world society to address the genuine problems of those denied their rights to just wages and other healthy conditions,” he said.

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