State governments have been calling migrant labourers their “guests”. But many of these guests now desperately want to go home, probably not happy with the treatment they got in the shelter homes or outside or maybe because they have been left to fend for themselves. That has upset their employers and the host states who are now trying to stop them so work in their factories or construction sites can restart. Among the measures are:

No trains: The Karnataka chief minister first “requested” migrant labourers to stay back but hours later cancelled all the trains it had arranged to take them back to other states. Lawyer Clifton Rozario, who has been fighting for migrants’ rights, says: “Compelling workers to stay back and work is forced labour, which is prohibited under Article 23 of the Constitution”. After criticism for cancelling the trains, the state government decided to resume services starting today.

No pay: In Madhya Pradesh, the state labour department has invoked ‘no work no pay’ for employees, who remain absent from work in industries, shops and commercial establishments permitted by the state government to function during lockdown.

Go work: Gujarat last month increased the duration of industrial shifts to 12 hours (till July 19) “to achieve a balance between the needs of industries and welfare of workers”. According to the Factories Act, only eight-hour shifts are permissible and if the workers work beyond eight hours, they are entitled for overtime allowance at double the wage. Overtime cannot be extended beyond eight hours in a week.

It’s a lockdown: Gujarat has been allotted seven more paramilitary companies by the Centre (six BSF companies and one company of Central Industrial Security Force) to implement the lockdown more stringently. Most of the extra force would be deployed in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat (the three cities witnessed chaos over the return of migrant labourers).