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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

At Jaipur unit, workers say not paid for months

“For March, we got our pay for the first ten days only on April 17. For the remaining days of March, the payment came in the first week of May,” a worker said, requesting anonymity.

Written by Hamza Khan | Jaipur | Published: May 17, 2020 4:33:23 am
Migrant workers, India lockdown, Coronavirus cases, RSG Stones, Jaipur new, indian express news “During a pandemic we have to cook our own food and work too. There is no relief or any incentive for us. If at all we complain we are told that we are free to leave,” an employee said. (Representational)

At one of the Jaipur units of RSG Stones, named after its founder Radhey Shyam Gupta, workers talk about long working hours and delayed wages. On Saturday, several of the 24 workers, who died in an accident in Auraiya in Uttar Pradesh used to work at RSG Stones, which has at least two units in Jaipur alone.

At the RSG unit in Vishwakarma Industrial Area (VKI), the workers, talking to The Indian Express, said that their wages have become irregular in the last couple of months. “For March, we got our pay for the first ten days only on April 17. For the remaining days of March, the payment came in the first week of May,” a worker said, requesting anonymity.

“We did overtime in March and are yet to be paid for it. It’s as good as forgetting about it now. And we don’t know when we will be paid for April,” said another, as they crowd around a mobile phone to see gruesome images of the accident. They say that their co-workers who died in the accident worked in a bigger unit in Mahlan, which is about 44 kilometres away from their workplace in VKI.

Another employee says, “The managers couldn’t care less. We used to work from 7 am to 7 pm but after the Union government came up with orders for a complete shutdown between 7 pm to 7 am, the managers merely changed our timings to 7 am to 6 pm, so that some of us can go back in time.”

“During a pandemic we have to cook our own food and work too. There is no relief or any incentive for us. If at all we complain we are told that we are free to leave,” the employee said. They say that their colleagues in Mahlan too, who worked under a contractor, were unhappy about the wages.

As per their website, RSG Stones identifies itself as “a leading stone mining and processing company in India. RSG Stones has operated successfully in the stone industry for over a quarter of a century, bringing you the world’s finest stone products and solutions. We are pioneers in Marble and Quartzite Mining in Rajasthan, India.”

It says that its units in Rajasthan “are equipped with Italian Breton and Socomac machinery, yielding more than 200,000 sq. ft. of polished slabs annually.” Calls to Ashish Gupta, CEO of RSG Stones, went unanswered.

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