West Bengal: Jute committee suggests govt not to enforce permanent workers clause in mills

By: |
September 25, 2021 5:40 PM

The committee was setup in 2019 and was entrusted to categorise workmen in jute industry besides maintenance of certain category of workers.

The report was submitted in June this year and the state government placed it on Friday at a meeting with the workers unions and the industry, mill owners said. (File image)The report was submitted in June this year and the state government placed it on Friday at a meeting with the workers unions and the industry, mill owners said. (File image)

The three member committee on jute set up by West Bengal government to look into disputes of waged permanent workers in the mills has in its report suggested not to proceed in any direction in this regard without considering the hardships the industry was facing.

The committee was setup in 2019 and was entrusted to categorise workmen in jute industry besides maintenance of certain category of workers.

The report was submitted in June this year and the state government placed it on Friday at a meeting with the workers unions and the industry, mill owners said.

“Undisputedly, condition of the jute industry that prevailed at the time of agreement have changed drastically. This committee therefore suggests that the authority should not proceed in the matter of directing the jute mills to increase the permanent workers at this stage without specifically considering several relevant factors – namely availability of labour and raw jute and financial conditions of the jute mills.,” the committee, which is headed by retired judge Pranab Kumar Chattopadyay, said in its report.

The committee said it had not examined the relevant factors in the absence of specific reference.

Indian Jute Mills Association had said that the industry is facing the problem of shortge of workers. Only 50 per cent of the workers were able to work for 240 days a year as many of them hail from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and the mills face mass exodus during the summer.

Workers unions had earlier claimed that the mills employ temporary workers to pay less wage and evade statutory payments.

The committee has recommended that each jute mills should consult recognized trade unions to categorise posts for permanent, special badli and and badli workers.

The mills are supposed to maintain the ratio of permanent employees and special badli (a category of non-permanent workers) at the agreed ratio of 90 per cent and 20 per cent.

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