Claiming that Goa is one of the 12 states in India which has not yet linked minimum wages to payment of dearness allowances, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has said that the recent notification issued by the government of Goa for revising minimum wages was unfair.
Speaking on behalf of AITUC, Mr Christopher Fonseca said that the wages proposed do not meet the basic requirements of working class in Goa and demanded minimum wage at the rate of Rs 385 per day for unskilled category, Rs 410 per day for semi-skilled workers, Rs 435 per day for skilled workers and Rs 485 per day for highly skilled workers.
Addressing the media on Saturday afternoon, Mr Fonseca claimed that though the cost of living is high in the state, the working class is underpaid compared to neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka where minimum wages are better.
Elaborating further, Mr Fonseca said that since the statutory minimum wages in the state are not linked to price index, the workers are suffering. He claimed that even in the informal labour markets all over Goa wages paid are much higher and vary from Rs 400 to Rs 500 per day.
Mr Fonseca said that the recent studies and surveys reveal that the trade business and industry extracted huge benefits from the central and state government in various forms such as tax cuts, excise and customs duty cuts, export subsidy, etc and as a result their profits have gone up by 30-40 per cent but wages of workers are stagnate. The minimum wages should be set with periodic dearness allowance revision and the state government should implement the same without any further delay, he added.
Mr Puti Gaonkar, the president of Goa Rajya Kamgar Mahasangh, stated that Goa convention of workers has opposed the draft notification issued by the state government on October 25 as the proposed minimum wages are much lesser than those assured by the Chief Minister on the floor of the House during the last assembly session. He said the minimum wages should be paid as per the guidelines issued by the central government.
INTUC leader, Mr Ajeetsingh Rane said that in order to achieve all-round development, fixed minimum wages ought to be paid, or else labour unrest will continue to hinder development. The convenor of GCW, Mr Suhaas Naik and Mr Ganesh Kubal of INTUC also spoke on the occasion. [NT]