Unions and manufacturers reached agreement in Feb. 2011

The Regional Labour Commissioner has directed the four major cement factories in Gulbarga and Koppal districts to pay minimum wages as fixed by the Cement Wage Board with immediate effect and implement the national wage settlement reached between major unions and cement manufacturers in February 2011.

Releasing copies of the order issued by the Commissioner and the wage settlement, president of the Shramajeevigala Vedike Chandrasekhar Hiremath told presspersons here on Wednesday that although the settlement was reached in February 2011, cement factories in Gulbarga district wilfully denied contract labourers employed in the manufacturing department minimum wages as fixed by the wage board.

The factories

Mr. Hiremath, who is spearheading an agitation for the rights of the contract workers, said the Commissioner had issued notice to Ultra Tech Cement Ltd. (previously called Rajashree Cement Factory) at Malkhed in Sedam taluk, Vasavadatta Cement Factory in Sedam, Chettinad Cement Corporation Ltd. at Kallur in Chincholi taluk in Gulbarga district and Ultra Tech Cement Ltd. at Ginigera in Koppal district.

He said Union Labour Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge should intervene and direct the enforcement officer of the central Labour Department to ensure that the cement factories implemented the direction.

Mr. Hiremath said that once implemented, contract workers, who were being paid wages ranging from Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 10,000 a month, would get a minimum salary ranging from Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month. In addition, they would be eligible for medical benefits, loans and other benefits enjoyed by permanent employees.

He said that the agreement came into effect from April 2010. Therefore, factories should also pay arrears from April 2010 to the contract workers. This would help more than 10,000 contract workers.

He said the vedike would wait for one month for the factories to implement the direction by the Regional Labour Commissioner after which it would launch an agitation.

  • ‘Cement factories in Gulbarga district wilfully denied contract labourers their rightful pay’

  • Agreement came into effect from April 2010; therefore arrears have to be paid as well