Maximum hike of minimum wages in the works

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Majithia award for newspaper employees yet to be implemented in the state

IMPHAL, July 23: The state Labour department has submitted proposals to the state government for revision of minimum rates of wages for unskilled labourers, semi-skilled labourers and skilled labourers for the 15 different scheduled employments.

This was stated by Deputy Labour Commissioner E Tomba Singh during the 31st press conference today in the series of media interaction with department heads organized by DIPR.

The department has also appointed three inspectors on May 27 as per directive of the Supreme Court to monitor newspaper establishments on the implementation of the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board in the state.

Replying to media queries Inspector RK Balaram said, although the wage board recommendation is yet to be implemented, efforts are on to do so in the near future.

Stating that a status report collected from 15 media houses on the same had been submitted before the Supreme Court of India on August 27, 2015, Balaram said a ‘content report’ has also been compiled to be submitted to the Supreme Court on or before July 30.

He added inspection and investigation will continue until the recommendations of the Majithia Wage Board are implemented in the state.

Deputy Labour Commissioner E Tomba Singh said “Not a single media firm has implemented the wage board recommendation.”

The inspectors appointed are monitoring whether the newspaper establishments employers are implementing the Working Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Condition of Service) & Misc. Provision Act, 1955, he said adding that a state-level tripartite Monitoring Committee has also been constituted by the state government for the same.

Nevertheless, the revised wages and allowances are yet to be implemented by the employers, he asserted.

The Deputy Labour Commissioner also appealed to the newspaper employees who are aggrieved by the non-implementation of the same to make a submission to the State Government of Manipur for the recovery of amount due to them from their respective employers.

Tomba said, the Labour department is mandated to provide care, protection, settlement of disputes arising out of employment, or non-employment, terms of employment or conditions of labour ,  welfare and social security of various workers in the state sphere under 25 different labour laws enforced in Manipur.

It does so under the provisions of some 26 Labour Laws which include among others the Trade Unions Act, 1926, the Children (Pledging of Labour) Act, 1933, the Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Industrial Employment(Standing Orders) Act,1946, the Industrial Disputes Act,1947, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Bonded Labour System(Abolition) Act,1976, the Inter-State-Migrant Workmen(Regulation of Employment & Conditions of Service) Act, 1979, the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation)Act,1986, the Working  Journalists and Other Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Service) Act,1955, he added.

The Deputy Labour Commissioner further said that in case of disputes between the workers and their employers arising out of employment or non- employment are settled through conciliation proceedings or adjudication under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Unfair labour practice, illegal strike, illegal lock-out, illegal retrenchment, lay-off and illegal closure were checked under the said Act, he asserted.

He said minimum rates of wages have been fixed under Minimum Wages Act 1948 for the workers employed in 15 different Scheduled Employments and proposals have been submitted to the state government to revise the minimum rates of wages from Rs. 122.10 per day to Rs 225 per day for unskilled labours, Rs 129.97 per day to Rs 248 per day for semi-skilled labours and Rs 132.60 per day to Rs 273 per day for skilled labour for the 15 different scheduled employments.

Steps have also been taken up for fixing minimum rates of wages for the workers employed in the eight other sectors including Employment in Domestic Works, Employment in Private Educational Institute, Employment in  Private Hospital, Nursing Homes, or Clinic and Employment in Brick Kilns, he added.

He said the payment of bonus to the employees by their respective employers in every factory and establishments employing 10 or more persons on any day after April 1982 are regulated under Payment of Bonus Act, 1965, and that any worker who is aggrieved by nonpayment of bonus can cause recovery of the amount of bonus to be paid by making an application to the Commissioner Labour, Government of Manipur.

Tomba also said 841 trade unions have been registered so far under the department, out of which 579 registrations have been cancelled and there are only 262 registered trade unions at present.

Speaking on the issue of migrant workers, Inspector Chandrakumar said, that at present there are 1712 licenses that are still active and further said that the Labour department do not monitor the transport of migrant workers into the state.

Contractors and contract business firms including Simplex and Keystone procured maximum number of license for migrant workers from the Labour department, he added.

Even though monitoring of migrant labourers coming into the state is not under the department’s purview, it nonetheless can take punitive action against companies or contractors employing migrant labours without proper licenses in any of its work sites, it said.

The Deputy Labour Commissioner had also said that the department will mobilize all 28 inspectors of the department to monitor the issue of child labour, and added any child under 14 cannot be employed in any form and punitive action against these establishments and individuals can be taken up under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986.

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