Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 27
Thousands of skilled, semi-skilled artisans and labourers working in the powerloom sector went on a two-day strike, demanding hike in their wages, here today.
Under the patronage of the Textile Mazdoor Union, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and the Centre of Indian
Trade Union (CITU), they held a protest at Beri Gate park. They were demanding 25 per cent increase in their wages.
Addressing the protesters, Amarjit Singh Asal, secretary, Punjab AITUC, said the previous contract had expired on November 30, 2016. “The unions issued a notice to the powerloom industrial units to talk to us for revision of wages of the laborers who live and work in pathetic conditions. They preferred not to respond and therefore the two labour unions called for the strike,” he said.
Amrik Singh, district president of the CITU, said laborers did not get even the minimum wages fixed by the government for the other sectors.
Charan Das and Brahamdev Sharam, president and general secretary of the Textile Mazdoor Ekta Union, respectively, said there were around 500 powerloom units wherein over 5,000 labourers were working. He said they were given wages on production basis. They said labour laws were not implemented at all in this sector. They get a minimal wages of Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 per month which is insufficient to meet their family requirements. Besides, they are also forced to work for 13 or 14 hours a day, they added.
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