The West Bengal government on Thursday signed a wage agreement with the jute industry to ward off an impending strike in the mills, officials said.
The agreement, which was signed late on Wednesday, came into effect from Thursday, Labour Minister Malay Ghatak said.
As per the fresh agreement, new workers would get a maximum of Rs 385 per day, from the existing Rs 257.
In January this year, the state government had raised the wages for new joinees to Rs 327 a day as interim relief.
A worker is also entitled to get Rs 385 a day if his attendance is at least 24 days in a month, failing which the wage would be reduced to Rs 370 a day.
"This is a good wage agreement. Our government has given a better deal to the workers compared to the previous Left Front regime," Ghatak said.
The new deal came in the backdrop of an indefinite strike call from March 15 by trade unions demanding wage revision and implementation of Minimum Wages Act, among others.
As many as 21 trade unions, barring Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress, had called the strike.
However, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), stayed away from the fresh wage agreement terming it as "anti worker".
"The state government has budged before the jute mills management and forced an anti-worker wage agreement which is not acceptable to us. We have not ratified the deal," CITU backed Bengal Chatkal Mazdoor Union secretary Anadi Sahu said.
Out of the 21 trade unions, six Left Front-supported trade unions have not signed the agreement.
Major unions, including the Congress-backed INTUC, BJP's BMS, and Trinamool Congress' INTTUC have signed the agreement.
"There is merely a Rs 2 per day hike for the 2.5 lakh existing workers, which is just not acceptable," Sahu said.
He also said that the Left-backed trade unions and four other unions have called for a one-day token strike.
Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) sources said if the Left trade unions do not become a signatory to the wage agreement, smooth functioning will be affected in many mills.
IJMA had earlier cited rising cost, cheap Bangladeshi imports and the onslaught of the plastic industry in packaging as causes for inability to pay more to the workers.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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