The minimum wages of daily wagers as well as casual labourers in Jammu & Kashmir has been increased to from Rs 225 per day to Rs 300 per day.
The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha who said the hike will apply to all government departments. Although this is an interim measure — before the formal revision of minimum wage rates by the Department of Labour and Employment — it will benefit a significant section of the workforce employed across government departments, municipalities and local bodies.
In the meantime, the state government’s Labour and Employment Department will study the prevailing minimum wages in other states and Union Territories before finalising the same in the UT. This process will take three months.
Elsewhere in the country, the Tea trade unions in North Bengal are preparing to protest via strikes, rallies and dharnas to ensure that the Government takes notice of their condition and responds positively to their demand for fixing of minimum wage for over three lakh workers employed in the State’s tea industry.
Despite meetings and discussions between the union leaders and representatives of tea planters’ associations, no consensus could be reached regarding minimum wage or an interim hike.
Negotiations have been on for years now, and still, the tea planters have not been able to accept the logic behind including food, clothing and shelter, which are basics, while calculating minimum wage.
If some definite action is not taken soon, the unions threaten to go ahead and call an industrywide strike.