ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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WEST BENGAL-Restive Textile Workers

reported the matter to the local police station, but could not get back his bull. At tin's stage, a local big landlord claimed that lie could procure the bull provided the peasant agreed to pay Rs 1,000 as compensation

LABOUR-Fight for Collective Bargaining Right

so far (7.4 per cent or Rs 3,481 crore) has been lower than that in the comparable period of the last fiscal year in both absolute and relative terms (9.9 per cent or Rs 3,952 crore). The entire increase has been shared by currency and time deposits, while demand deposits declined markedly (because of the statistical factor noted above). In 1979-80, the rise in M3 had been reflected in all the components. the currency expansion of Rs 543 crore in the current year upto October was only slightly higher than that a year ago, whereas time deposits increased enormously by Rs 5,200 crore. This was, however, accompanied by a distinct contraction in demand deposits in the wake of more banks adopting the new classificatory method.

WEST BENGAL- Road Kings Win

their opposition and the reluctance of other state Labour Ministers, the Union Labour Minister proclaimed in an official press note that he had assumed unto himself powers of intervention in industrial disputes without even caring to get a majority vote for his proposal as his senior colleague, the Finance Minister, had had to do at the other conference. Finally, of course there is the sensitive proposal of deploying Centre's paramilitary forces to act in the states in the name of maintaining law and order without being invited by the state governments to do so and assuming law and order responsibilities over and above the heads of the state governments. What all this adds up to is that even while the Prime Minister asserted tongue-in-cheek at the recent meeting of the National Development Council that she had never in the past toppled any state government and would not do so in future

LABOUR- Raw Deal for Seamen

WITH the lilting of the blockade on the vessels of the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) -the my Aradhana and my Viswa Sakti

LABOUR-Plight of Road Transport Workers

August 23, 1980 LABOUR Plight of Road Transport Workers Timir Basu MEMBERS of seven unions of com- merciai road transport workers in West Bengal observed a token strike on' July 15 to press their long-standing demands over which they have been agitating since February last. After the work- stoppage, the workers paraded through the streets of Calcutta and sent a deputation to meet the State Labour Minister. The stir has brought into the opeh many aspects of the working of road transport companies..

LABOUR-West Bengal CITU Conference

 LABOUR West Bengal CITU Conference Timir Basu THE four-day session of the third state conference of the West Bengal unit of the Centre, of Indian Trade Union (CITU) ended with a massive rally on May 30. The conference aroused a lot of controversy as well as curiosity from the very beginning; controversy because CITU projected a low profile this time; and curiosity because of the scale of the grand show which was attended by some 300 delegates from 1,620 unions claiming to represent more than eight lakh workers.

LABOUR-Poor Deal for Tea Workers

(20,780); Mikir (4,610); Miri (3,348); Garo (610); Rabha (10); Khasi (45); Mizo/Lushai (15). Not a single native speaker of Assamese returned any language of the Naga people as a second language in the 1971 Census, unless of course this has been included in languages classed under 'Others' (4,355). This does contrast with the fact that a very large number of the Naga people speak Assamese and indeed use it as a lingua franca for inter-tribal communication even now, especially the older generation.

LABOUR- Whose Idea of Work Norms

Whose Idea of Work Norms? Timir Basu THE tripartite agreement of February 2, 1979. between the Indian Jute Mills .Association (IJMA), the government of West Bengal, and the Central Trade Unions in the jute industry, was a patchwork affair that left many things unsettled. One of the most important questions left unsettled was workload. It was merely agreed that a committee of experts would be set up by the Labour Minister to examine the workload question. A report was to be submitted to the government within .six months from the time the committee was formed. The jute, industry, despite being long established, has no system of grades and scales. It has piece rate and daily rate. So. yet another expert committee was to settle the question of grades and scales. Alter receipt of the reports, the Labour Minister was to deliver the final verdict on the issues of workload and grades and scales, in consultation with the concerned parties. Meanwhile, the status quo was to be maintained.

PORT LABOUR-Pawns in Bargaining Game

sharp increase in cost. For example, chikoo, preparations with sorbitol were priced about Rs 20 and contrasted with sugar-based ones at about Rs 3.

LABOUR-Docked Basin Workers

January 12, 1980 would allow a better physical balance in industrial demand and supply in 1980 and 1981, and partly as the Indian physical and speculative demand for protection against domestic inflation expands in 1980 and 1981 (some of the fall has been caused by poor mansoon distress selling in 1979). A realistic long-term silver price, i e, for 1980-1985 is likely 'to be established between $ 20-30 per oz giving immense scope for any holdings accumulated at the Rs 3,600 per kg ($12-15/oz).

LABOUR-Seamen s Strike

LABOUR Seamen's Strike Timir Basu THOUSANDS of seamen in all the major ports, under the leadership of Forward Seamen's Union of India, (FSUI) resorted to a one-day token strike on November 28, 1979. This long overdue industrial action follow- ed the decision of the KSUI executive committee meeting held in Calcutta on November 7, 1979. The strike was total in Calcutta, Haldia, Madras, Cochin and Kandla and partial in Bombay. There was no strike in Vizag because of the promulgation of section 144 in Vizag area. The poor response in Bom-

LABOUR-Jute Workers Restive

November 24, 1979 LABOUR Jute Workers Restive Timir Basu JUTE workers are restive again. They are not on the warpath yet, but there is discontent in the air. The Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) has said a flat 'no' to workers' demand for 20 per cent bonus; worse, many terms of the tripartite settlement have remained on paper and workers are once again helpless in absence of any legal safeguards. The state government too has been tardy. According to the terms of the -pement, the government should have up two committees to study the work-load in the industry and to examine the pay-scales of different categories of jute workers with immediate effect. But the formation of the two committees was announced only in September, after eight months. Though the committees have been asked to submit their reports within six months, the workers have little faith in such time-schedules, for obvious reasons. Even if the committees' verdicts are given in time, the IJMA can back out, precipitating a new dispute, or the committees* recommendations could be challenged in the High Court. In that event, the govenment would be rendered a 'helpless' onlooker, as has already happened on the question of reinstatement of victimised workmen. It had been agreed by all the parties at the time of the tripartite settlement. hat the labour minister's recommendation in the matter of reinstatement of workers who bad been victimised during the Emergency for political reasons would be final. It was further agreed that the number of such workers would not exceed 55, Though the minister's recommendation should have come within two months of the signing of the agreement, he did not issue his orders before the third week of September. The minister then ordered the reinstatement of 51 victimised workmen. The mill-owners, however, ignored the order without giving any reason. The affected workers belong mainly to mills owned by Birlas and Kanorias, Deben Mazumdar, a worker of the Budge Budge Jute Mill,. was retrenched in 1976 for allegedly inciting workmen on the issue of work-load and contract labour. He still does not know when, if ever, he will get his job back. In fact, not a single victimised worker has been reinstated in any mill.

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