Around 16 industries in Gujarat have asked the state government to withdraw its notification mandating industries to pay full salaries to its employees during the COVID-19 lockdown.
These industries have also asked the government to not allow migrant workers whose salaries have already been paid to return home.
The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI) Regional Council has written a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Monday requesting the government to allow the industries to cut 30 to 50 per cent of salaries of their workers.
Claiming that the industries are in a fiscal crisis due to the lockdown, GCCI president Durgesh Buch, in the letter, suggested that the daily wagers be given salaries at par with MNREGA workers or with minimum wages which is around Rs 200-350 per day. Those earning up to Rs 20,000 should be given only 70 per cent of their existing salaries and those earning more than Rs 20,000 should be given only 50 per cent of the salaries, the letter said.
“While on one hand, the production is almost at a standstill, the units have to bear some fixed expenditures like bank EMIs, rent and salaries,” the letter stated adding that the industries are finding it difficult to continue paying full salaries.
“We have requested the government to withdraw the notification that makes full payment of salaries mandatory. Secondary, the workers who do not turn up at units that have restarted in orange and green zones should not be paid at all. Thirdly, the migrant workers whose salaries have been paid during the lockdown should not be allowed to return, otherwise we will not be able to run,” said Pathik Patwari, an office bearer at GCCI.
The Gujarat government had directed the industries not to cut salaries or layoff employees during the lockdown. The government later said FIRs will be filed against industries not abiding by the government notification under the Disaster Management Act.
Between April 7 and 26, the state government has received 1,085 calls on its helplines from workers complaining that they have not been paid their salaries during lockdown. About 95 per cent of these complaints were resolved by the government.
The industrial associations which have come together raising these demand are from Vadodara, Junagadh, Banaskantha, Rajkot, Mehsana, Ahmedabad and Ankleswar.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines