Skip to main content

Study finds scant regard for labour laws in units under Gujarat Industrial Development Corp estate

Counterview Desk
A recent case study in one of India's richest districts, Anand, has found the existence of large-scale casualisation of the workforce, with factories situated in a state-owned Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) premises opening flouting labour laws, even as paying scant regard to the laws that make it obligatory to pay minimum wages. Titled “Labour Under Stress in Gujarat”, the study by Atulan Guha of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) says that the GIDC estate in Vallabh Vidyanagar, situated just outside the Anand township of Central Gujarat, only “confirmed” the macroeconomic picture of dormant earnings of the urban workers in Gujarat.
On-the-spot inquiry by the scholar suggested that “most employees were hired on a contractual basis even in the big companies.” In fact, he came across “not one factory worker ... who was not contract-based. Permanent employees were to be found only in the higher echelons (highly skilled professionals) of the big companies.”
What makes the situation of the workers in the GIDC estate particularly precarious, the scholar suggests, is that “while the contractors would change every 2 to 3 years, the workers continued with their same jobs in the same companies.” Pointing out that this shows how “temporary workers” continue to “work permanently in the same factories”, the scholar says, “Behind the facade of outsourcing, jobs of a permanent nature are given to temporary workers who work more or less permanently in the same factory.”
Pointing out how this suggests that “regular workers are used for permanent jobs but under the terms and conditions governing temporary workers”, the scholar regrets, “The labour market inflexibilities applicable to the industrial labour market through the Industrial Dispute Act are non-existent” in GIDC estate. “Factories employing over 100 workers are not employing workers under a permanent contract”, he adds. “In the GIDC estate, the smaller factories that employ less than 100 workers too do not employ workers under permanent contract.”
Worse, the scholar says, “These contractual workers often obtain marginally less than the minimum wages pertained to skilled labour -- between Rs 210 and 230 per day.” Suspecting that the that “big companies” may be paying to contractors at the minimum wage scale, he says, as for the workers, they get less than minimum wages because of the “cut taken by the contractors.”
As for workers’ wages outside the big factories within the GIDC estate, the scholar says, these “have been generally found to be lower than the prescribed minimum wage with a high degree of variation”. He adds, “For skilled workers it ranges between Rs 80 and 200 per day. Workers who have graduated from ITIs receive higher wages with a minimum of Rs150 per day.” The current minimum wages in Gujarat, even for unskilled workers outside the municipal corporation limit and in towns of more than 1 lakh population is more than Rs 200. Anand falls in this category.
In fact, the scholar says, “The latest figure pertaining to the minimum wages for skilled workers in the state varies between Rs. 210 and Rs 253 – linked to sector, geographical location, and inflation. Overtime work does not merit compensation in the form of double wages. Generally speaking, single wages are paid for the overtime period.” Actually, he adds, “overtime has become something of a rarity with a slowdown in industrial growth.”
The scholar found during his inquiry in the Vallabh Vidyanagar GIDC that “workers who, having worked on higher wages in factories closed down due to recession, now work at almost half the wages of previous job.” The scholar adds, in Vallabh Vidyanagar GIDC, he “did not come across any trade unions. The workers informed us that factory owners disallowed the formation of workers’ unions and any attempt in this direction was thwarted by terminating the job contract.”
---
Also see: http://www.counterview.net/2014/07/labour-under-stress-gujarats-lag-in.html

Comments

TRENDING

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

People's pressure? GPCB mining cancellation 'notice' to top cement unit in Gujarat

By Sagar Rabari*
Environmental Clearance (EC) was given to Ultratech Cement Co Ltd for limestone mining in villages Talli and Bambhor of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on January 5, 2017. EC was issued ignoring, overriding and undermining opposition from local farmers to mining activity in the area. The mining in these two villages covers an area of 193.3268 hectares (ha), while the entire project is spread over an area of 1,715.1311 ha.

Bullet train acquisition: Land holding worth Rs 1.5 crore, Gujarat govt 'offer' Rs 8 lakh

By RK Misra*
Foundation stones laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi litter India’s cities, towns and villages, but there are few projects which he has pursued with such perseverance and tenacity as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train one. However, the overwhelming state power notwithstanding, the farmers, whose lands are being acquired for the Modi government’s dream project, have no plans to give up the fight.

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”

NHRC notice to Gujarat chief secretary following silicosis deaths in Rajkot

By Our Representative
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Gujarat chief secretary and the district magistrate, Rajkot, to respond to a complaint filed by health rights activist Jagdish Patel of the People's Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, regarding the alleged death of Raju Prakash Parihar and two others reportedly because of silicosis, a fatal occupation disease, in Rajkot, one of Gujarat’s top cities.

Banned? Indian ports 'received' 38 US plastic waste containers reexported from Indonesia

By Rajiv Shah
An Indonesia-based international environmental watchdog group has dug out what it has called “a global pollution shell game”, stating how officials in Indonesia approved re-exports of “illegal” US waste shipments containing plastics mainly to India, as also to other Asian countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam -- instead of returning them to the US “as promised.”