• Kar­nataka gar­ment work­ers seek min­i­mum wage hike

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Gar­ment work­ers in Kar­nataka are de­mand­ing that the newly formed HD Ku­maraswamy gov­ern­ment im­ple­ment the re­vi­sion of min­i­mum wages that was with­drawn by the ear­lier gov­ern­ment in March 2018. The Sid­dara­ma­iah-led Congress gov­ern­ment had is­sued a draft no­ti­fi­ca­tion in Fe­bru­ary 2018 propos­ing to dou­ble min­i­mum wages in the state’s gar­ment in­dus­try.

As per the draft no­ti­fi­ca­tion, the min­i­mum wage was to be re­vised to Rs. 445 per day for an un­skilled worker from Rs. 220 a day at present. For a semi-skilled worker the wage was pro­posed to be re­vised from Rs.229 to Rs.490. For skilled and highly-skilled work­ers, the wages were pro­posed to be re­vised up­wards from Rs.232 and Rs.240 to Rs. 539 and Rs.593, re­spec­tively.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the no­ti­fi­ca­tion would have ben­e­fit­ted around 4.5 lakh peo­ple, mostly women, em­ployed in the state’s gar­ment in­dus­try. The cap­i­tal city of Ben­galuru alone em­ploys nearly 3.5 lakh peo­ple.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion was with­drawn by the labour depart­ment stat­ing that the in­dus­try man­age­ment ob­jected to the re­vi­sion as min­i­mum wages in the state were al­ready higher com­pared to other states, and in­creas­ing the wages would have an ad­verse im­pact on the in­dus­try.

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