Law and Social Justice CBSE Class 8



Union Carbide an American pesticide companies set up its Factory in the city of Bhopal and at midnight on 3rd December 1984 methyl isocyanate or m.i.c a highly poisonous gas started leaking from its plant thousands died immediately from the effects of the gas many were trampled in the panic that followed within three days more than 8,000 people who were dead hundreds of thousands were maimed most of those exposed to the poison came from poor working-class families of which nearly fifty thousand people are too sick to work till date even after three decades so far and after the disaster that shook the world Union Carbide got away by paying a meager amount of compensation to the victims okay that makes me wonder does big companies get an upper hand in developing countries like ours and can they get away after such monstrous acts well we are going to find out our answers in the chapter law and social justice so let's get a little deeper into what exactly happened now if you want to understand what led to the events leading to Bhopal disaster then we can first ask the question that we need to ask that is why did Union Carbide set up its plant in India well the answer is very easy cheap labor you see in countries like the United States of America wages that the company is paid to their workers is far higher than what they have to pay to the workers in developing countries like India and that is why foreign companies come to India to set up their factories here also in exchange of lower pays companies get longer working hours as well and additional expenses such as housing facilities for workers that they otherwise need to provide are not essential in India thus companies can save a lot of cost and earn higher profits forget about the basic amenities if you try to find out about the safety system that the Union Carbide had in its plant in the USA and that in India you will find out that things were different in the two plants the plant in West Virginia and the United States had computerized warning and monitoring systems whereas the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal relied on manual gorges and the human senses to detect gas leaks at the West Virginia plant emergency evacuation plans were in place but nothing like that existed in Bhopal so why are there such sharp differences in wages and safety standards across countries well one part of the answer lies in what is perceived as the worth of an Indian worker around the globe so what brings down the wages now in a country of millions where unemployment has become a human cry one worker can easily replace another worker and many workers are willing to work in unsafe conditions in return of a daily wage so it's obvious looking at the workers vulnerability employers often ignore the requirement for proper safety facilities in workplaces and this is by even after so many years of the Bhopal gas tragedy case there are still regular reports of accidents in construction sites mines or factories due to the callous attitude of the employers when it comes to business cost-cutting can be done in innumerable ways and by dangerous means lower working conditions including lower safety measures is one of the most common ways of cost-cutting again if we take the example of the Union Carbide plant in India then every safety device was malfunctioning or was in short supply in the plant though up gradation and maintenance of the safety installations were conducted in its plants at the Virginia regularly but in the case of Bhopal none was done in fact between 1980 and 1984 the working true for the m.i.c plant was cut down to half from 12 to 6 workers and the period of safety training for the workers was brought down from 6 months to just 15 days also the post nightshift workers for the m.i.c plant at Bhopal was abolished and this was not just the case with the Union Carbide plant let me give you another scenario where the workers are often exploited now take the example of a shirt manufacturing Factory well from the producer of cotton to the buyer of the shirt in the supermarket a chain of different markets is linked to it buying and selling takes place at every step of this chain from the small farmer who produces cotton the weaver of a road to the worker in the garment exporting factory a number of people are either directly or indirectly involved in the production of shirts and they all face exploitation or unfair situation in the market at different points this is because markets everywhere tend to be exploitative of people beat workers consumers or producers during the 1980s and 1990s with industrialization in the picture textile mills faced create competition from upcoming power looms now a majority of textile mills closed down due to this these power looms are small units with about four to six looms and the owner operates them in combination of hired and family labor and it is a well-known fact that conditions of work in these power looms are far from satisfactory now to protect people from such exploitation the government makes certain laws and these laws try to ensure that the unfair practices are kept at minimum in the market the first thing that comes to my mind in a common market situation where the law plays a very important role is the issue of workers wages it is quite natural that private companies contractors business persons normally want to make as much profit as possible and in the drive for profits they often denied they're rights and do not pay them the correct wages and in the eyes of the law it is illegal or wrong to deny workers their wages now similarly to ensure that workers are not underpaid or are paid fairly that is a law on minimum wages now according to this a worker has to be paid not less than the minimum wage by the employer and the minimum wages are revised upwards every few years like the law on minimum wages which was meant to protect workers there are also laws that protect the interests of producers and consumers in the market and these laws had to ensure that the relation between the three parties that is the worker the consumer and the producer are governed in a manner that is not exploitative but can be ensured eradication of exploitation just by making laws no just making laws is not enough the government has to ensure that these laws are implemented also which means that the laws must be enforced and when we want to protect the weak from the strong then enforcement becomes even more important so it is of utmost importance that the government conducts regular inspections at work sites and punishes those who violate the law so that it can be ensured that every worker is getting a fair wage the law is equal for all be it workers or big companies none is above it and it is our right to demand a pollution free environment – termit for more amazing video lectures download the free app on Apple App Store or Google Play Store

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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