gy correspondent Jammu mar 2
[ March 03, 2017 ] Notwithstanding the fact that in the present era every section of society is faced with tough competition to remain in hunt as survival of fittest prevails in society. The worst exploited section of society is labour class who gives hundred percent to bring cheer and happiness in life of millions but their personal life standard has not reached anywhere even after 70 years of independence. The minimum wages paid to them is not worth to make the both ends meet what to speak of good house , bank balance to face adverseries in life and proper education and nourishment of their wards. The minimum wages paid to labour class as approved by Govt is Rs 300 per day approved since 2013 which becomes nearly Rs 9000 if luckily they get the work for the month. The Govt should verify itself whether this sum is justified for dignified life and if not it should immediately revise their wages so that this important section of society can lift its living standard otherwise if they go against the system, then the development tempo will be halted and it will not be in the interest of nation.The growing gap between what families need to earn to live and what the Government sets as the minimum wage, shows the National Government isn’t doing enough to ensure all state subjects can get ahead. The minimum wage for contract workers has been increased to Rs 10,000 per month by Union Govt.The wage hike has been done based on a Supreme Court verdict.It should be the endeavour of the Central Government to make reforms in labour laws and to proceed from minimum wage to universal wage. This hapless lot had been put to tremendous hardships despite toiling hard in pressing circumstances. It is irony of sorts that these workers are not being paid even minimum wages. The government should dispense with ‘red tapeism’ and official wrangling vis-à-vis the files of adhocees and contractual lecturers. It is unfortunate to note that state Govt vide SRO 73 Dated 23-02-2017 issued by labour and employment department has asked suggessions from affected ones in 39 Sectors from construction industry to Hair Cutting Saloons with in two months over hike in wages be it unskilled at Rs 225, Semi skilled at Rs 250, Skilled at Rs 300 and Ministerial/Superior/ Acctts at Rs 275 per day respectively but the same Govt takes no time in hiking the salaries and perks to legislators several folds. This is a matter of serious discussion and immediate concrete policy to address the issues of this weakest but most important section of society.Government must crack down on employers who exploit workers, with the introduction of harsher penalties and other measures. Include higher penalties for employers who deliberately underpay workers, and stronger protections for workers from “sham contracting. The biggest debate going around for the past couple of years is claims relating to regularization, equal pay for equal work, changes being brought about in the contract labour system. In public employment, private organizations, multinationals, government bodies, the employees are raising claims for regularizations, creation of posts, higher and equivalent salaries. Such claims are raised by contractual employees, employees employed though contractor on temporary basis, daily rated, seasonal, etc. The Labour Unions all over India have been appealing the government to end the labour contract system as the future of labourer is not secured having no deposits to look after themselves and the members of family in the event of any eventuality. The money kept with them for the rainy seasons is too meager to meet the requirements of food requirements and health treatments apart from education and marriage of the children. In fact, the main contractor of the labour, in whose name the contract is finalized, is not bothered about depositing the EPF in the account of labourer despite the fact the same is deducted from the bills of the contractors. The system of engaging contract workers has witnessed a change from bad to worse. In the early days, employers used to employ contract workers mainly in peripheral and low-skill work in their enterprises, though many of these works were of a permanent and continual nature, while operational jobs were generally manned by regular workers. According to Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, any law passed by the Central government other than those relating to Defense, Foreign Affairs, Finance and Communications are not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir unless they are ratified by the state legislature. However there is an urgent need for inculcating consciousness in the society towards the dignity and the rights of labour class.“In the Indian culture the worker is traditionally regarded as ‘Vishwakarma’. The country cannot be happy, if the worker is unhappy. Laws alone can’t bring about the desired change, combined and concerted efforts of the judiciary, labour unions, industrialists and the Government, will bring about the results which are not only in the interest of the labour class but the country’s economy as well. Unorganized sector covers most of the rural labour and a substantial part of urban labour. “In this sector wage-paid labour is largely non-unionized due to casual and seasonal nature of employment and scattered location of enterprises besides this sector is marked by low income, unstable and irregular employment, and lack of protection either from legislation or trade unions.