State doubles minimum wages of workers

But unions call it an attempt to fool them with just one wage rise instead of two

July 25, 2019 01:55 am | Updated 01:55 am IST - Mumbai

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday announced that it would double the minimum wages of labourers working in shops and other establishments in the State.

The revision of wages has come after nine years and is likely to affect one crore labourers working in 10 lakh shops across the State.

The Minimum Wages Advisory Board of Maharashtra revises labour wages according to Section 3 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. But the wage hike had been postponed for the last nine years, with the government citing various technical reasons and non-appointment of members on the board.

On November 11, 2018, Raghunath Kuchik was appointed president of the advisory board.

Labour Minister Dr. Sanjay Kute said the government has ensured that the workers get their due.

As per the new decision, wages of skilled workers will be hiked from ₹5,800 to ₹11,632, semi-skilled workers will get a hike from ₹5,400 to ₹10,865, and unskilled workers will earn ₹10,021 as against ₹5,000 in all municipal corporation limits, and industrial and camp limits that fall under municipalities.

In municipal council limits, skilled workers will get a pay rise from ₹5,500 to ₹11,036, semi-skilled workers will get a hike from ₹5,100 to ₹10,260 and unskilled workers will earn ₹9,425 as against ₹4,700.

In the remaining areas of Maharashtra, excluding the above-mentioned categories, skilled workers will get a hike from ₹5,200 to ₹10,440, semi-skilled workers will get a hike from ₹4,800 to ₹9,664 and unskilled workers will get a hike from ₹4,400 to ₹8,828.

A notification to this effect was issued on Wednesday.

Labour unions, however, have termed the announcement an attempt to fool the workers. “The wage hike was delayed by nine years, when ideally it should be done every five years. This means the government, instead of giving two hikes, is trying to pacify the workers with only one hike,” Dr. D.L. Karad, national vice-president, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, said.

Dr. Karad said the State government’s Grade IV employees earn ₹18,000 per month as per the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

“The labour unions had met Mr. Kuchik with a demand for the same. But it has been neglected. The government’s position is not justified and we will continue to raise the demand for higher wages,” he said.

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