Faridabad Mazdoor Samachar (FMS) is a monthly publication in Hindi since 1982. Over 7000 copies of the paper is circulated in many parts of Delhi Industrial Region. Each issue of ‘Faridabad Majdoor Samachar’ carries articulations of workers of 50 to 60 factories on various issues of importance and interests to them. At Thozhilalar Koodam, we print the ‘worker speak’ section in English and Tamil.
Minimum Wage: The Real, The Legal and The Actual
The minimum wage, as calculated according to the Minimum Wages Act enacted by the Parliament in 1948, comes to around 50-60 thousand rupees.
Minimum wage as fixed by the Haryana government effective Jan 1, 2016:
Unskilled : Rs 7976 monthly (Rs 307 for 8 hours)
Semi skilled A : Rs 8375 monthly (Rs 322 for 8 hours)
Semi skilled B : Rs 8794 monthly (Rs 338 for 8 hours)
Skilled A : Rs 9233 monthly (Rs 355 for 8 hours)
Skilled B : Rs 9695 monthly (Rs 373 for 8 hours)
Highly skilled : Rs 10179 monthly (Rs 392 for 8 hours)
As of May 2016, dearness allowance of 5 months of amounts Rs 1881 to Rs 2395 are pending.
Minimum wage fixed by the Delhi government effective Apr 1, 2016 :
Unskilled : Rs 9568 monthly (Rs 368 for 8 hours)
Semi skilled : Rs 10582 monthly (Rs 407 for 8 hours)
Skilled : Rs 11622 monthly (Rs 447 for 8 hours)
Roop Auto (439-440 Sector 8, IMT Manesar) 12-15 workers in the factory are permanent and 500 are temporary. Workers make steering wheels for vehicles in 2 shifts -morning 6:30 to evening 5 and evening 5 to 6:30 next morning.
India Forge (28 Sector 6, Faridabad) The factory has 2 shifts of 12 hours each. Helpers are paid Rs 6000-6200 and CNC operators are paid Rs 6500-8000.
Modelama (200 Udyog Vihar Phase 1, Gurgaon) Working hours are from 9 in the morning to 9:45pm everyday including sundays.
Tetson Rai International (E-46/5 Okhla Phase 2, Delhi) 500 workers produce for the brand ‘Gap’ in 12 hour long shifts. ESI and PF are deducted according to the minimum wage stipulated by the Delhi government but the wages are Rs 7200 for helpers and Rs 9800 for checkers. Tailors are paid Rs 400 for 8 hours.
Navyug Electrospark (175 Sector 7, IMT Manesar) The factory does not give a weekly off. Shifts are from 9 in the morning to 8 at night and 8 at night to 9 next morning. On Saturdays, the night duty workers work for 24 hours in a single shift.
Bony Polymers/Prime India Polymix (132 Sector 24, Faridabad) The factory has 8-10 permanent workers, 30-40 casual workers and 500 workers brought in by contractor companies – all working in 2 shifts each of 12 hours duration.
Kailash Ribbon (403 Udyog Vihar Phase 3 Gurgaon) 400 workers in this factory have ESI and PF while 300 other workers don’t have them. There are 2 shifts of 12 hours each. Since November 2015, some have been moved to the new grade for 10 hours of duty instead of 8 hours. 300 workers used to get Rs 5500 for 8 hours work – since November they get Rs 6000 for 10 hours of work. Earlier, 3.5 hours of work would come under overtime, now 1.5 hours are overtime.
The Myson Company (D-12/3 Okhla Phase 2, Delhi) In this factory, helpers are paid Rs 200 and tailors Rs 370 for 8 hours work. Only 10 out of the 200 workers have ESI and PF.
A A Autotech (158 Sector 5, IMT Manesar) The factory has 50 permanent and 2500 temporary workers working in 2 shifts of 12 hours each.
Sri Shyam Polythene (20/3 Mathura Road, Northern Complex, Faridabad) Wages of 10-15 days are not paid on resigning from work.
Bharat Leather (189 Udyog Vihar Phase 1, Gurgaon) One of the contractors of this factory disappeared. On returning from home after Holi festival, when workers demanded pending wages from the company, the manager asked them to bring their contractor.
Kanika Export (A-187, A-190 Okhla Phase 1, Delhi) Helper is paid Rs 200 and Tailor Rs 360 for 8 hours work. They approached the union – the union leader came, took money from the company and left.
A S K (28 Sector 4, IMT Manesar) 12 permanent and 700 temporary workers work in 2 shifts of 12 hours each. The factory, without any explanation, suddenly changed the IDs of the temporary workers working since many years.
Star Auto (321 Sector 24, Faridabad) Wages are Rs 5500 for women helpers, Rs 5800 for male helpers and Rs 7400 for CNC operators.
Security workers (guards)
Through Majdoor Samachar, we have these conversations with security workers working at different places. We are on duty for 12 hours everyday – either in the day or at night. If there is no one to relieve us, then despite doing 36 hours of duty, we are not given payment for meals. No weekly off. Guards work 30-31 days of the month, 365 days of the year. There is no Holi, nor Diwali, nor Eid, nor 26 January, nor 15 August, nor 2nd October for guards. If the laws of 8 hour workday, weekly off and overtime payment at double rate are applied then the guards current wage works out to Rs 4000-5000. On top of that, there are many frauds daily – Rs 500 taken off if caught napping, wage deducted if not shaven or for not wearing Identity card. Guards of different security companies need to discuss these matters amongst themselves. We are there to help co-ordinate. Guards of Hindustan Investigation and Security Service, Sentinel Security Service, Chaukas Security Service, Haryana Industrial Security Service, Group 4 security, Tiger Security, Trishul Security, Divine Security, Global Management and Consultant Security Service.
Trig Security (Head Office Mumbai) supplies 1500 guards in Delhi. Guards are on duty in 2 shifts of 12-12 hours. No weekly off. On duty 30-31 days every month, 12 hours everyday the worker is paid Rs 8154 after deducting ESI and PF. Salary for the month of March was paid only on 28 April. While the guards have their ESI cards, very few of them have been told their PF numbers. Looking up on the internet revealed that only Rs 800-900 have been deposited for many years’ PF.
G 4 S Security : Guards are made to work in 2 shifts of 12-12 hours. They get 2 payslips – one slip shows the total number of hours according to 8 hour workday; the other has overtime and allowance written on it, amount is specified but the ‘hours’ field is left blank. In Delhi, due to action by guards, the Provident Fund Organisation ordered Group Four Company to deposit Rs 134 crore – and PF is now being decucted for the entire wage. But the wage basic is very low, there is no DA, allowances are higher – whcih means that the guard gets very less amount as gratuity. Group Four company used to take educational degree certificates at the time of recruitment, but now it takes Rs 2500 over and above.
Faridabad Mazdoor Samachar (FMS) is a monthly publication in Hindi. It started in 1982 when 1000 copies were being published every month in 2 page format. Currently they publish 7000 copies and distribute it for free by standing on the road-side in shift changing hours. It takes them 10 days to distribute 7000 copies and most of the copies are taken by industrial workers working in thousands of factories in Faridabad and adjoining industrial areas of Delhi.In Faridabad, three-fourths of the factory workers are invisible workers, or workers who are not in the company’s records. 85% are temporary workers and workers hired through contractors. The statutory minimum wages, presently Rs. 3,914 [US$ 83.28 approx.] per month, are not paid to 80% of the work force. Even permanent workers are not paid wages for two-three-four-six months. Workers of hundreds of factories that have been closed have not been paid their legal dues even after five-ten-fifteen years of factory closure. Each issue of ‘Faridabad Majdoor Samachar’ carries articulations of workers of 50 to 60 factories on such issues. First hand experiences of the wage workers makes up most of the newspaper.