Medical and sales representatives from across the city staged a demonstration on Thursday demanding stipulated work hours and an increase in minimum wages.
Members of the Tamil Nadu Medical and Sales Representatives Association said the provisions of the Sales Promotion Employees Act must be implemented in the State. At present, these representatives are only appointed as permanent employees by pharmaceutical companies if they achieve certain sales targets.
V. Vasudevan, the association’s secretary, said the labour department must ensure sales and medical representatives are employed in a prescribed format as specified in the Act. These representatives are mostly paid a minimum monthly wage of Rs. 4,299 and a dearness allowance, which is very low. A minimum wage of Rs. 15,000 and dearness allowance must be fixed, he added.
Of the nearly 7,000 association members in the State, about 1,000 are in Chennai.
“We start our day at 7 a.m. and work close to 13 hours. Other states like Haryana, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have stipulated work hours for medical and sales representatives, which are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Similar work hours must be fixed for us,” Mr. Vasudevan said. They also demanded that women representatives be provided with six months maternity leave.
Maduravoyal MLA G. Beem Rao and the members submitted a charter of demands to the labour minister.