The Covid-19 pandemic has created significant social and political upheaval. One casualty of this upheaval has been the protections and rights guaranteed under our Constitution and our laws to working people. In the last few months, many state governments have moved to suspend basic labour laws that limit hours of work, guarantee basic safety and hygiene at the workplace, and protect workers from unjustified dismissal. Under pressure of public protest, some of those moves have been suspended. In the monsoon session of Parliament, however, the central government itself pushed through new “labour codes” which — while ostensibly being about “rationalising” existing labour laws — also remove basic rights and protections, place further restrictions upon the right to strike, and introduce 19th-century policies of “hire and fire”, which leave workers entirely at the mercy of employers.