Even as the crushing season in Maharashtra has begun, the issue of nearly one lakh sugar factory workers seeking a wage hike remains unresolved. Now, the workers have decided to adopt an aggressive stand and threatened an agitation against mill owners.
Accusing mill owners of adopting dilly-dallying tactics on the issue, Tatyasaheb Kale, president, Kamgar Sangh, said the millers were not keen on any decisions in favour of workers and were avoiding the issue by seeking more time. A meeting of the Worker Union’s General Council has been called on December 9 in Pune to announce the agitation, he said.
The workers have been demanding an interim wage hike of Rs 3,000 per month. They are annoyed as casual cane labourers have been granted a 20% wage hike.
The recently-held third meeting of the tri-partite committee has not succeeded in arriving at any conclusion. The term of the committee headed by Shivjirao Patil, vice-president, Vasantdada Sugar Institute, ends on January 8. If there is no solution before this date, the issue will continue to prolong and therefore we have decided to resort to an agitation,” Kale told FE.
The third meeting held by the committee met with little success for the lack of response from members. The second meeting held in October in Pune also met with a similar response.
Jayprakash Dandegaonkar, vice-chairman, Maharashtra State Cooperative Sugar Factories Federation, said the mills would gather a collective opinion on the issue in a fortnight.