IMT industries’ body launches online signature campaign for financial help as workers threaten to start protest
An online signature campaign has been launched by IMT Industrial Association, Manesar, to seek a financial relief package from the state government to be able to pay salaries to their workers who have threatened to start a protest if not paid.
Industry owners across the Gurugram district said that their income has taken a hit due to the lockdown and they needed the government’s support to bail them out.
Pawan Yadav, president of IMT Industrial Association, Manesar, said, “More than 3,000 owners have signed the petition in three days of launching.”
The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) on March 29 issued a notification under the Disaster Management Act 2005, making it mandatory for industry owners to pay the wages to its workers during the lockdown. After the MHA notification, the state government issued directions to all district heads to implement the order in letter and spirit.
“There is panic among industry owners. If we do not pay wages to workers in first week of May, the administration will take action as per the MHA notification. Earlier, we gave representations to the local administration and state government, but did not get any response. As our last resort, we decided to launch an online petition, get it signed by at least 5,000 owners and send it to state government by April end. If the government does not respond and we are forced to pay, then we will move court,” said Yadav.
He further said that there is a massive resentment among industry owners who paid March salaries to workers.
Meanwhile, workers said that they would protest if they do not get salaries of April from their employers. “On April 21, some industry owners met the district administration officials and submitted a memorandum showing their poor financial condition. We condemn such approach of industry owners. We have also written to the administration and state government. Industry owners and workers work like family members, and in this crisis time owners cannot desert workers to die without money,” said a leader of workers’ union in Manesar.
There are 10 industrial associations in Gurugram and all of them have been collectively raising their voice with the local administration and state government in this regard. Representatives of the associations had met the deputy commissioner a week ago and submitted a memorandum. The IMT Industrial Association has taken a lead this time with the launching of an online signature campaign for the petition.
Rakesh Batra, general secretary of Industrial Development Association Sector 37 Gurugram, said, “We have no money to pay wages to workers. We have signed the online petition. If we do not get relief from government, we will move court.”
The petition says that the MHA is passing financial burden on small businesses/MSMEs despite they have been depositing money in social security funds like labour welfare fund, employees state insurance, labour cess, etc for the past many years for their employees and it is high time the government should utilise these funds for industries’ support.
When asked about the issue, Kesni Anand Arora, state chief secretary, said, “I have no directions from the government for industry in this regard. However, industries’ grievances are in the knowledge of the government.”