Staff Reporter

Say wages paid according to settlement reached

Workers are now paid Rs. 111 as daily wages

Wage dispute pending disposal before Industrial Tribunal

Coimbatore: The Anaimalai Planters Association has said that daily labourers at the plantations are being paid daily wages according to the settlement reached at between the association and trade unions in the presence of Kovai Thangam, MLA.

The MLA representing Valparai had led workers to the Coimbatore Collectorate and presented a memorandum to the District Collector demanding action against planters for not paying the minimum wages to workers.

The association, in a statement here, said that plantation workers in Valparai were paid daily wages not less than the notified rate and according to a statutory wage settlement reached between it and trade unions in the presence of Mr.Kovai Thangam.

The managements have not defied the Government Order or deviated from the notification.

Not entitled

Under Section 3 (2A) of the Minimum Wages Act of 1948, the plantation workers employed by the members of the association were not entitled to receive the notified minimum wages, as wage dispute was pending disposal before the Industrial tribunal.

Despite this the managements were paying wages as notified by the Government and according to the settlement reached.

At present they were being paid Rs. 111 as daily wages against the notified minimum wages of Rs. 110.96.

According to the settlement, the total wage should comprise consolidated daily wages, fixed dearness allowance and terrain allowance.

The consolidated daily wage of Rs. 90 and fixed dearness allowance of Rs. 2 attract fringe benefits.

Currently the allowance amounting to Rs. 19 will not attract fringe benefits, other than those provided under the Plantation Labour Act.

The MLA made a surprise demand, after having signed the settlement, claiming fringe benefits for an amount of Rs. 103.76 as against the present Rs. 92.

After several rounds of discussions, the managements expressed their willingness to consider the demand subject to certain conditions.

A final decision was yet to be arrived at, since there appears to be no consensus among the trade unions for making such changes in the existing settlement.

Mr.Kovai Thangam was fully aware of the situation and talks were continuing, the release said.

Although the managements were fully justified in rejecting the MLA’s demand, in the context of the statutory settlement being in force, in all fairness, the managements are still discussing with the trade unions for an amicable solution.

The association asked the MLA not to precipitate the issue and instead help the managements resolve it amicably.