Discontent brewing over pay hike in Maruti plant

Resentment seems to be brewing among the casual workers at the plants of Maruti Suzuki, the largest carmaker in the country, in Gurugram over the past few days over nominal increase in their wages. The former general-secretary of the company’s workers’ union, Kuldeep Janghu, has written a letter to the Labour Department referring to the discontentment and seeking their intervention.

In a letter to Deputy Labour Commissioner, Mr. Janghu said the company’s management had announced an increase in the wages of the casual employees on September 18, but the hike had been nominal causing resentment among them. He made an appeal to the department officials to intervene and ask the management for the reconsideration of their decision.

Rising inflation

Mr. Janghu, a member of Kamgaar Adhikaar Suraksha Association, said casual employees were being paid more than the minimum wages fixed by the State government, but the nominal hike in their wages of a few hundred rupees in the backdrop of the rising inflation and the increasing disparity between the salaries of casual and the regular employees has caused strong resentment.

Mr. Janghu claimed that around 150 casual employees had met him two days ago expressing dissatisfaction over the increase in wages and he then decided to write to the Labour Department. “While the regular employees are getting paid in the range of ₹70,000-₹80,000, the casual skilled employees are getting around ₹25,000 for the same work,” Mr. Janghu said.

Deputy Labour Commissioner Ajay Pal told The Hindu that the department had received the complaint and was looking into the matter. “We will speak to the casual workers and the management if required,” Mr. Pal said.

No bargaining power

Labour advocate Monu Kuhar said the disparity between the wages of regular and casual employees existed across the industry, but the casual employees, not being part of the workers’ unions, lacked the bargaining power. He added that the Trade Union Act, 1926 did not distinguish between different categories of workers and, therefore, the casual workers too could be part of the workers’ unions.

The company’s public relations team did not respond to the queries in this regard.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 4:56:27 PM |

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