Penn Thozilalargal Sangam
Since 2003, Penn Thozilalargal Sangam (PTS) has been at the forefront of demanding minimum wages for women workers, especially domestic workers in and around Chennai. Several large protests, rallies, and dharnas have been organised demanding for a single minimum wage for all women workers across industries and sectors. In early 2008, the Tamil Nadu minister for labour announced the setting up of a Committee to decide the minimum wage for domestic work. PTS has demanded to be included in this committee and other negotiating boards for workers consistently but have not been successful.
All West Bengal Sales Representatives Union
The All West Bengal Sales Representatives Union (AWBSRU) organised an intense campaign from 2- 25 September 2008 across all the districts of West Bengal for the implementation of minimum wages for all sales promotion employees. A ‘Jatha’ rally was taken across the districts and more than 30,000 handbills distributed which culminated in a ‘Rail Roko’ in Kolkata on 26th September that forced an immediate intervention from the Chief Minister.
Garment and Textile Workers Union
Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU) has been involved in the campaign for revision of the Statutory Minimum Wage. The demand was for a minimum wage of Rs.200 per day in Karnataka for garment workers. The campaign was directed at the state Minimum Wages Committee constituted in November 2007. The Karnataka Government, by its notification dated 2-3-09, revised the Minimum Wages for all categories of garment workers to Rs.130 per day, which is basic + DA. This is a 25% increase in the statutory Minimum Wage, and the highest ever increase in minimum wages. The year long struggle of the Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU) contributed to this real increase in minimum wages, that too at a time of economic slowdown. However this is still much lower than the Rs.200 per day demand of GATWU – which is the minimum required for a family of garment workers to survive in Bangalore, as per a survey conducted by GATWU in 2007- and hence the struggle continues.
Kachra Vahatuk Shramik Sangh
Kachra Vahatuk Shramik Sangh (KVSS) through its long-drawn struggle has forced the BMC to implement the Maharashtra minimum wages for all workers in the municipal corporation. Moreover, the union has got a commitment from the BMC commissioner that the central government minimum wage rate of Rs 180 will be implemented eventually but the circular to this effect has still not been issued. The BMC has meanwhile issue a circular stating that a 46% levy will be paid to contractors from which the contractor will pay the workers the amount under different heads, e.g. 12% PF, 4% for uniforms, 6% for leave with wages, 8.33% bonus. Also the union is involved in a case, now in the Supreme Court, over a dispute that began with the struggle of 280 workers of Nashik Municipal Corporation who were fighting for minimum wages and were sacked suddenly on 6 July 2009 by the contractor. The workers, mostly illiterate, eventually discovered that the contractor had forged their signatures on blank paper and applied for loans and received them on their behalf.
Jharkhand Shramik Union
In organising construction workers, the Jharkhand Shramik Union (JSU) has been engaged in bitter struggles for payment of minimum wages, compensation in case of work site accidents and payment of provident fund to the workers. The union is currently involved in trying to organise contract workers in the mining sector.