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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

CITU demands R 15,000 per month as minimum wages

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, February 03, 2014
First Published: 18:35 IST(3/2/2014) | Last Updated: 18:37 IST(3/2/2014)

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) on Monday demanded paying Rs. 15000 per month minimum wage to workers in Haryana.

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CITU state president and member of Haryana State Minimum Wages Advisory Board placed these demands in a meeting of Advisory Board held on Monday.

The meeting was convened by principal secretary, Labour and Employment, RP Chander who is also the chairman of the Advisory Board.

CITU state president Surender Singh Malik said that according to the law, minimum wages must be revised every five years. Thus, the minimum wages in Haryana should have been revised in 2012.

"This is a violation of the law and directives of Supreme Court, as the process initiated in this context is very late. For the last two years all the recognised central trade unions in Haryana have been demanding revision of minimum wages. All these trade unions were unanimous in their demand that minimum wages in the state should be fixed at Rs. 15000 per month,'' he said in a statement. 

Malik said that justification for this demand is based on the same criteria and norms accepted by the state government. He said that there cannot be different minimum wages for the state government, public sector and private sector workers.

It holds no ground in the eyes of law. So this illegal step must be withdrawn, he said.

Malik said that rate of neutralisation per point in the state was also very low. The rate of neutralisation must be enhanced suitably for 100% neutralisation.

While Haryana chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda had on November 10 promised to enhance the minimum wages of unskilled workers to Rs. 8100 per month from the existing Rs. 5341, the decision was put on hold due to immense pressure from the industry.

The increased minimum wages-from the existing Rs. 5341 to Rs. 8100 (a hike of 51 %) - were to be put into effect from January 1, 2014. However, a notification in this regard was held back by the Labour department since it would have put the commitment of the government, in black and white, making it morally and politically bound to honour it. 

A January 1 advertisement issued by the state government regarding the implementation of announcements made by Hooda at Gohana rally only spoke about the increase in minimum wages of labourers and workers in government undertakings and not the private sector.

To postpone the commitment, the state government instead referred the issue of hike to the Minimum Wages Advisory Board. As per the provisions of Minimum Wages Act, 1948, two methods have been laid down for revising or fixing the minimum wages. The first is by either constituting a committee or by way of notification.

Under the committee system, committees and sub-committees are constituted by the state governments to hold inquiries and make recommendations with regard to fixation and revision of minimum wages.  As per the notification method, the proposed hike is published in the official gazette for information of the persons likely to be affected by the increase.

A date not less than two months from the date of the issuance of notification is specified on which the proposed hike will be taken into consideration. After considering the advice of the committees and all the representations received by the specified date in notification method, the state government will by notification in the official gazette, revise the minimum wage in respect of the concerned scheduled employment and it shall come into force on expiry of three months from the date of its issue.


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