Thursday, September 23, 2010
IT IS NECESSARY TO QUESTION THE WAGE SYSTEM ITSELF. IT IS NECESSARY TO THINK AND ACT FOR THE CREATION OF A NEW SOCIETY.
(New Series No. 184, September 2003)
Aged 19-20 years: A little farmland in the village. After graduation came to Delhi with a friend in December 2002. Joined Maharaja Prints near Badarpur border Delhi at 1,400 rupees per month salary. There's only one shift of 12 hours, from 8 in the morning till 8 at night. Payment for four hours in overtime at single rate. No ESI (health insurance), no Provident Fund. Left the job after four months and came to elder brother in Mujesar (village turned slum industrial area). Brother got a job in Khem Cardboard Factory in Sector 24, Faridabad through a contractor with 1,800 rupees per month for 8 hours duty. There were two twelve hour shifts in the factory. Overtime payment was at single rate. Correct payment was not given after deductions of this or that. 2,200 rupees per month. During summers, upset stomach for 5-6 days. Left the job. Joined Alfatoyo Factory in Sector 6 through a contractor. Rest only on Sunday, 1,400 rupees salary per month. Two shifts of 12 hours each and payment of overtime at single rate. Fight co-workers in the factory and beaten outside of the factory. Worked there for one month and then left the job. Trough a contractor's subcontractor joined Cast Master Factory in Sector 6. fr 8 hours per day for 30 days of the month, no Sundays off, 1,800 rupees salary. There was one shift of 12 hours, morning 8 to evening 8 and overtime payment was at single rate. There are 4 furnaces in the factory, worked on one furnace. Sieve aluminum scrap, remove ash. Liquify it in the furnace, take out the molten metal, and pour into moulds. Then remove the product and store it. During work, my ribs were burnt by molten aluminum. With the dwindling of orders from Yamaha company, work decreased and I was thrown out of a job on July 13. My June wages were paid on July 27th after making me run in circles quite a bit. Wages of 12 days July have not been paid till today. August 14 and I'm being made to run around again.
Age 33-34 years: After ITI (Industrial Training Course) years, I came to Faridabad and completed my internship at Escorts first plant. A friend got me employed in High Tech Gear Limited in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. The management operation was so extensive, it's difficult for me to describe. There used to be half an hour lunch break and there was a shortage of plates in the canteen. There used to be a lot of push-and-pull for food, and you had to wash the shabbily-cleaned plate of another to have your own meal on. I soon left that job and came to Faridabad. I worked as a casual worker in different plants of Escorts Company. At that time, I was a young guy and used to think I was making a lot of money. Acquaintances explained to me how long would I remain a casual worker and I should try for a permanent job. In this situation, after I was again given a break, I went to Noida and in 1992 joined Yamaha Factory there. At that time in Yamaha Surajpur (Noida) there were 600 permanent and another 600 hired through cntractors. At the time of the contractors, there was no ESI and no health benefits and no Provident Fund. But there is to be no break-time. This way I worked in the factory continuously for 4 years. When the company removed the contractors, and by employing us itself, health insurance and Provident Fund laws were implemented. Luring us with promises of making us permanent workers, the company extracted massive amounts of work from us. There were more than 150 welding shops, 135 in machine shops, 100-150 in body assembly, 70-80 in engine assembly casual workers in the factory. At the time of union elections, leaders each time would make promises that casual workers would be made permanent. Of the 600 casual workers who were working in Yamaha Surajpur factory, 300 workers had been continuously working for 8 to 10 years like this. After Yamaha obtained a share in Escorts motorcycle, it put up a voluntary retirement scheme. But the workers did not leave their jobs. Then many were transferred to Faridabad from Surajpur. Even after that, 600 casual workers continued to work in Surajpur. And with the increase of demand from Yamaha workers for motorcycle, the company started C shift (night shift from midnight to morning/0 hundred hours to 800 hours) in the factory. And with the permanent workers refusing to work in C shift, the C shift was run by casual workers. Caught up in the snare of getting a permanent job or 10 years, I hardly took any leave. I forgot all about my brother, sister, father, mother. Work rubbed away my body. But facing problems in the market, the company dismissed casual workers. With the sale of Yamaha motorcycles continuing to fall, the company began single shift work in the factory. And then, 300 of us casual workers who had been working eight to ten years continuously in the factory were given work for 12 days each month. We met union leaders and told them that you have not been able to secure us permanent work, but at least get our monthly wages fixed. The leaders said you should look for work at some other pace. By making our monthly wage 1,000 rupees, the company forced us to leave the job. To feed my family, I joined a factory in Faridabad on contract. Before the months end, I was removed. In July on removal, the ideas of committing suicide on the rail line were shaking me but I stopped myself by thinking about my little daughter and my wife.