They toil all day to desilt drains without any protective gear. Working without gumboots, gloves and masks, MCD desilting labourers will find that nothing is going to change this year despite tall claims made by the civic agency. The contractors are supposed to provide boots, helmet and gloves to workers as per the guidelines laid down in MCD contract. However, it is not followed. According to sources, MCD can blacklist or cancel the contract of a contractor who is found to be flouting guidelines.

This paper looks at how Nike's soccer ball suppliers (previous and current) in Sialkot (Pakistan) fare in relation to the company's code of ethics. While minimum required working conditions are implemented, the criteria for social and environmental compliance are not met with. The multinational's decision to withdraw orders from the previous supplier ostensibly due to allegations of child labour and unauthorised subcontracting hit large sections of the workforce, especially rural, low-skilled and female workers.

The decline of the political significance of industrial conflicts is not quite a result of the structural changes in management-labour relations (as commonly thought) in these times of globalisation. It is more a consequence of the lack of an appropriate agency and politics among the working classes, despite their increasing incompatibilities with globalising capitalism. A set of case studies of manufacturing industries in Bangalore illustrates this point.

Healthy Brew: Differently-abled children benefit hugely from the training provided at Tata Tea's vocational centres (Pic By C.P. Shanmugham)

Burma's ruling junta was last night locked in an increasingly tense stand-off with the international community after flatly refusing to allow foreign aid workers into the country to tackle the impact of the recent cyclone disaster. Amid clear indications that between 60,000 and 100,000 people are now dead or missing in the region, the Burmese junta said it was prepared to receive offers of aid from foreign sources, including the US.

THE JOB profile said bird scarer, but what 28 men did not bargain for while taking up employment was the even scarier work conditions. Contracted more than a decade ago by a private agency to keep birds off Chennai Airport limits, more specifically the runways, these men feel exploited. The duty involves standing long hours and bursting crackers to ensure absolute absence of birds from the runway area. The hot sun and rain are accepted as professional hazards. But the lack of minimum support rankles.

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday said ready-made garment (RMG) workers are subjected to a variety of physical, chemical and biological hazards due to use of natural and synthetic materials in the factories. Wage discrimination, long working hours, unhygienic environment, lack of water and sanitation facilities and inadequate rest and sleeping time are causing malnutrition and many other health problems to garment workers, they added.

Two Chinese coal mine managers have been jailed for seven years for negligence after a colliery flood killed 172 workers, the country's worst such accident in decades, local media said on Wednesday. The tragedy happened in August 2007 when a river dyke burst in torrential rain, sending water rushing into two mineshafts. The miners were declared dead after weeks of trying to pump out the water ended in vain.

DELHI Migrants might be causing uproar in some parts of the country but photo-journalist Harish Tyagi sees their lives in an entirely different light through his lense.

Kharaghoda, a large village located on the edge of the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, has a population of 12,000. Here's the shocker: 500 of them are widows.