Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Feb 01, 2007
ePaper
Google



Front Page

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |



Front Page Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Increase in DA for beedi workers

Divya Gandhi

Agreement initiated by unions signed


  • A raise of one paisa per point from April 2008
  • Arrears of last 10 years to be paid shortly

    BANGALORE: An agreement initiated by beedi workers' unions was signed here on Wednesday with beedi manufacturers to increase dearness allowance (DA) and pay the arrears in variable DA.

    Manjunath Shastry, State Joint Labour Commissioner, presided over it.

    DA has been raised by one paisa per point (to be paid from April 1, 2008), and the arrears of the past 10 years amounting to Rs. 4,500 for each worker will be paid in a lump sum shortly. As modest as these achievements may appear, the agreement nevertheless signifies the important role of unions in the lives of beedi workers.

    In October 2006, pressure from the unions got the minimum wage raised from Rs. 55.25 to Rs. 60 for every 1,000 beedis rolled.

    How many beedi workers actually stand to benefit from these developments? According to B. Madhava, president of the State Beedi Workers' Federation affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), only a third of the 10 lakh beedi workers in the State, those who have been issued identity cards by their employers, will benefit from these schemes.

    The beedi industry, the largest employer of women in the unorganised sector in India outside agriculture, perhaps represents the most vulnerable and exploited. Almost every beedi worker is a woman, many belong to Dalit, tribal and minority communities. And the nature of their home-based work often renders them invisible to the Government. "While the official records suggest three lakh beedi workers in the State, the actual number is over 10 lakh," says Mr. Madhava. There are an estimated 70 lakh beedi workers in India.

    Beedi workers actually appear to be some of the more fortunate among home-based workers. They get a mention in the schedules of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, for instance, which does not list most other home-based activities.

    There are also specific Acts, such as the Beedi Workers (Condition of Employment) Act, 1966, and Beedi Workers Welfare Fund Act, 1976, that provide schemes for workers. The provisions include health insurance, maternity benefits, scholarships for children, provident fund and housing assistance.

    "The employers take advantage of the home-based nature of work and deny that the women even work for them," says K. Hemalata, convener of the All India Coordination Committee of Women Workers.

    Printer friendly page  
    Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



    Front Page

    News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
    Advts:
    Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

  • Kotak Securities

    Music Season


    News Update



    The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
    Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Home |

    Copyright 2007, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu