CITU demands immediate revision of minimum wages for scheduled employment

Port Blair, Nov 30: Centre of Indian Trade Unions has demanded immediate revision of the Minimum Wages for scheduled employment recommended by the Minimum Wages Advisory Committee in its meeting held on 31st July, 2017. In a letter sent to the Chief Secretary, A & N Administration, B. Chandrachoodan, General Secretary, CITU A & N State Committee said that after several years’ of continuous persuasion and agitation by the workers to revise the minimum wages which was last revised with effect from March, 2009 and with the intervention and initiative on the part of the Chief Secretary several occasions, a minimum wages Advisory Committee was set up by the Administration. The meeting of the Advisory Committee held on 31.07.2017 finalized the rates of minimum wages and submitted its recommendations to the Administration. However, the said recommendations were kept untouched and it was only on 22nd Sept 2017, the claims and objections were invited, with last date being 22nd November, 2017.

Mr. Chandrachoodan said that the CITU has been vigorously pursuing the matter and it has been observed that the final notification enhancing the rates of minimum wages is yet to be issued by the Labour Department. He said that this is a deliberate attempt on the part of the concerned officials to help the private sector.

Inviting the correspondences made by the CITU earlier, Mr. Chandrachoodan told the Chief Secretary that the minimum wages revision was due from March, 2014 and despite CITU’s persistent demand, the issue was delayed intentionally by the Labour Department for the last four years. He brought to the notice of the Chief Secretary that the workers are entitled to get their minimum wages revised from March, 2014 and there is no valid justification or reason for any further delay in implementing the recommendations of the Minimum Wages Advisory Committee. In this connection, he drew the attention of the Chief Secretary to the revision of Minimum Wages by the central government for the workers working in central government establishments working in these islands which has come into force with effect from 1st January, 2017. The Advisory Committee on 31.7. 2017 had recommended the same rate of minimum wages fixed by the central government for the central government establishment functioning in these islands. CITU told the Chief Secretary that in any case, the revised minimum wages are to be enhanced atleast with effect from 1.1.2017. The six-monthly VDA due in April and September, 2017 are also denied to the workers on the plea that the minimum wages are under revision.

In this way, the poor workers are again harassed by the Labour Department with the ulterior motive to help the private sector, said CITU General Secretary, Mr. Chandrachoodan sought the intervention of the Chief Secretary in the matter to issue necessary orders through notifications to revise the minimum wages for the scheduled employment so that thousands of workers working in the government and private sector will heave a sigh of relief during these hard days.

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