Delhi High Court’s Re­jec­tion of Wage Hike Brings Re­lief to the In­dus­try

Stitch World - - EDITORIAL - Read and com­ment on my blog at http://stitch­world­magazine.blogspot.com

Bring­ing re­lief to hun­dreds of fac­to­ries in Delhi, the Delhi High Court has dis­missed the State Gov­ern­ment’s move to in­crease min­i­mum wages of work­ers and has also set aside an ear­lier no­ti­fi­ca­tion by which a Min­i­mum Wages Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for all sched­uled em­ploy­ments was set up, on the ground that the con­sti­tu­tion of the Com­mit­tee was flawed.

In my in­ter­ac­tion with fac­tory own­ers, I find that no one is re­ally against the rise in min­i­mum wages, but all are of the opin­ion that there has to be a bal­anced ap­proach to the ‘cal­cu­la­tion’ that safe­guards the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the fac­to­ries… I com­pletely agree with this logic.

In fact, even dur­ing our visits to Bangladesh, the same logic is put for­ward by the in­dus­try there… The Gov­ern­ment, NGOs, unions and as­so­ci­a­tions, all need to sit to­gether to find the best for­mu­lae to cal­cu­late min­i­mum wages as per cost of liv­ing and prac­ti­cal im­pli­ca­tions to busi­ness… Af­ter all if fac­to­ries close down, whose pur­pose would it serve?

I was ex­tremely sat­is­fied to read the con­tent of the Court pro­ceed­ings, as it re­flected the ma­tu­rity of the de­ci­sion mak­ers and the bal­anced ap­proach taken – The Court noted that though the re­vi­sion of wages ‘is sorely needed’, the ‘hur­ried at­tempt’ and ‘non-ap­pli­ca­tion of mind – con­tra­ven­ing prin­ci­ples of nat­u­ral jus­tice has un­for­tu­nately dis­rupted this course, yet again’ …

The pro­posed no­ti­fi­ca­tion for wage in­crease an­nounced in 2017 en­vis­aged a more than 37 per cent in­crease in wages across the board from un­skilled to semi-skilled and skilled work­ers in the Delhi-NCR re­gion. Since the an­nounce­ment, fac­to­ries were fear­ing about fu­ture busi­ness, and par­tic­u­larly ex­porters who are com­pet­ing on an in­ter­na­tional plat­form… The High Court’s de­ci­sion is in­deed a rea­son to cheer and could be the re­quired jack to up­lift the dwin­dling spir­its of gar­ment ex­porters in the re­gion.

While in­creas­ing wages are a chal­lenge at the worker level, find­ing the right can­di­date at the man­age­rial level is no less daunt­ing. Dur­ing place­ments, both the stu­dents and com­pa­nies are eval­u­at­ing each other. While stu­dents go by a com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion, the com­pa­nies are in­creas­ingly us­ing psy­cho­me­t­ric test as a tool to mea­sure a per­son's log­i­cal and an­a­lyt­i­cal abil­i­ties.

Though psy­cho­me­t­ric tests sup­port the re­cruit­ment process, some­times it be­comes dif­fi­cult for com­pa­nies to de­cide on the weigh­tage to be given to tech­ni­cal abil­ity and psy­cho­me­t­ric scores, in the se­lec­tion process. In this is­sue, views of in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als on this grow­ing topic are dis­cussed.

This is­sue also car­ries an ex­clu­sive in­ter­ac­tion with Ashish Kansal, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, SMPP Pvt. Ltd., that un­rav­els fea­tures which make the newly pro­cured In­dian Army jack­ets unique. On the other hand, Dr. Pra­bir Jana, Pro­fes­sor, NIFT, Delhi ex­plores the op­er­a­tion break­down of ex­actly the same shirt in two dif­fer­ent fac­to­ries. The logic is sim­ple…, when the prod­uct re­mains stan­dard, why is the process so dif­fer­ent?

Deepak Mo­hin­dra Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

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