The Indian government on Tuesday proposed a new minimum wage for the country’s garment workers, but the proposal has been criticised by the trade union federation.
The new minimum wages will be the highest in the world and will be a far cry from the current minimum wage of Rs 1.,200 a month for factory workers, said Ashish Srivastava, the president of the Indian Federation of Trade Unions.
Srivastavav said the proposed minimum wage hike is not a big deal, but it has to be looked at as a step towards an inclusive society, where everyone can earn.
“The wage for factory work is around Rs 1 lakh a month.
There is no problem if we raise it by Rs 2,000 or Rs 3,000 a month, or even Rs 4,000,” he said.
“But if we have minimum wage increases of 50 percent or more, there will be huge impact on the people.”
The minimum wage is currently set at Rs 2.25 per day.
The government plans to raise the minimum wage by 50 percent in 2019 and by 60 percent in 2020.
Under the plan, workers would be paid Rs 1 a day plus a weekly allowance of Rs 2 per day plus one-time allowances of Rs 3 a day, plus Rs 4 a day for overtime.
The total daily wage would be Rs 5.50 a day.
A union spokesperson said the union’s demands are unrealistic and the proposed wage hike will lead to a huge loss to workers and to employers.
“This will not solve the problem of the wage gap.
The labour shortage will continue.
This is a very bad policy.
We want the government to take a different approach.
We have no idea what the proposed raise will be,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that the minimum wages proposed by the government are “not a big leap” but are “very realistic”.
“These are the minimum demands we have in the union.
But this is a small step and there are many things that need to be addressed,” the union spokesperson added.