Members of the Karnataka State Beedi Workers' Federation, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, on Saturday urged the State government to issue an order fixing minimum wages at Rs. 116.20 to make 1,000 beedis with retrospective effect from April 1, 2012.
Federation president B. Madhava and general secretary Syed Mujeeb told mediapersons that the government had issued draft orders for reviewing minimum wages for beedi workers in 2010 but had done little in that direction even after receiving objections 19 months ago. Then, it formed a minimum wage revision sub-committee in November, which decided to fix the wages at Rs. 116.20 for rolling 1,000 beedis.
They alleged that the government by not issuing a gazette in this regard was depriving 10 lakh beedi workers in the State from getting fair wages. The Union government had in 2009 directed all the States to ensure that the minimum wages should not be below Rs. 100, but the State government was delaying in implementing the recommendation of the wage sub-committee.
Mr. Madhava condemned the Union government's move to withdraw the scholarship provided to children of beedi workers studying from Class 1 to Class 8 and demanded that it be re-introduced. He added that a two-day conference would be held in Mangalore from May 8 and 300 workers from 20 districts will take part in it.