The fight for workers’ rights is set to reach an international forum as central trade unions attached to various political parties have decided to lodge a joint complaint with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) against the dilution of laws by BJP-ruled states.

As many as 10 trade unions have lodged a protest against the amendments in labour laws, saying the BJP ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh government had used the country’s tottering economy as an excuse to bring in an ordinance to free employers of any obligations for a period of three years.

“The changes are being made unilaterally in violation of ILO convention of tripartite discussions involving workers (through their unions), employers and the governments, and other regulations,” the unions said in a statement.

“The changes come after the decision of six state governments to increase the working hours of workers from statutory and international norm of eight hours to 12 hours per day,” the statement said, adding that they fear this could make employers freely and arbitrarily use the “hire and fire” strategy.