Two days after the Delhi government started a drive to ensure minimum wages to workers, hundreds of employees of a cash management company held a mass protest in Southwest Delhi’s Naraina on Wednesday. The reason behind their anger–skilled workers marked as “unskilled” and discrepancies in wages.
The protest began at 9 am as scores of employees of SIPL (Securitrans India Pvt Ltd) reached the branch with their pay slips for November and demanded a reply from the Management and HR regarding the inconsistencies in their wages.
One of the protesters told indianexpress.com that their pay slips for November showed the same salary for unskilled and skilled laborers.
“As per the new wage rule, a gunman who should be a matriculate would get Rs 14,000 salary and a cash officer who is at least a graduate would get Rs 17,000 salary. But the pay slips for November have a similar salary for all,” the protestor said. “The HR team was arrogant and the management have hired bouncers so that nobody can approach them directly.”
However, after a management meeting over three hours, notices were posted outside the company, stating that the management wants three days to look into the issue.
SIPL, which engages in the business of transporting cash, hires workers including gunmen, loaders, cash sorters, scooter courier boys and cash van drivers.
“Our job is very risky but we are just provided with a minimal insurance and outdated gun. In such a situation, we can at least demand a proper wage,” one of the protesting gunmen said.
The Delhi government has divided the wages of various categories on the basis of skills. The minimum wage for unskilled laborers is Rs 14,000 per month, while Rs 15,400 for semi-skilled laborers and Rs 16,962 for skilled.
On Monday, the labour department started a 10-day drive ‘Operation Minimum Wage’ and raided places including government and non-government organisations.
In March last year, the government had implemented minimum wage slabs. But on August 4 this year, the high court quashed the notification, saying it was a “hurried” decision. In September, Delhi government had moved the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s order that stayed the state government’s notifications of revising minimum wages of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labourers and formation of minimum wages advisory committee.
On October 31, the Supreme Court allowed the government to implement the existing wages while asking it to work on a new pay scale and submit a report before January 31. Accordingly, the government proposed new minimum wages for contractual workers, which have been uploaded on the website.