42-19029946.jpg

Gurgaon Workers News – Newsletter 10 (April 2008)

Gurgaon in Haryana is presented as the shining India, a symbol of capitalist success promising a better life for everyone behind the gateway of development. At a first glance the office towers and shopping malls reflect this chimera and even the facades of the garment factories look like three star hotels. Behind the facade, behind the factory walls and in the side streets of the industrial areas thousands of workers keep the rat-race going, producing cars and scooters for the middle-classes which end up in the traffic jam on the new highway between Delhi and Gurgaon. Thousands of young middle class people lose time, energy and academic aspirations on night-shifts in call centres, selling loan schemes to working-class people in the US or pre-paid electricity schemes to the poor in the UK. Next door, thousands of rural-migrant workers uprooted by the agrarian crisis stitch and sew for export, competing with their angry brothers and sisters in Bangladesh or Vietnam. And the rat-race will not stop; on the outskirts of Gurgaon, Asia’s biggest Special Economic Zone is in the making. The following newsletter documents some of the developments in and around this miserable boom region. If you want to know more about working and struggling in Gurgaon, if you want more info about or even contribute to this project, please do so via:

http://www.gurgaonworkersnews.wordpress.com
gurgaon_workers_news@yahoo.co.uk

In the April issue you can find:

1) Proletarian Experiences -
Daily life stories and reports from a workers’ perspectiv
e

*** Long list of short information from workers employed in over 40 different companies in Gurgaon -
Most of the reports do not show much more than the fact that the official legal working standards are not met. Most of the reports are from textile export factories, gathered in September and October 2007.

*** Accident, everything but accidental! -
A worker employed by Dheer Internationals in Gurgaon tells about how the company treated him after his work accident.

*** Short report from Motherson Sumi System Worker from Noida -
In GurgaonWorkersNews no.6 we have already published a report from a young worker employed by Motherson Sumi in Gurgaon. This time a different worker employed at the automobile supplier’s plant in nearby Noida tells us about their working conditions. The regime of international automobile suppliers extends its production chains in the region: Motherson Sumi signed a joint venture with FIAT subsidiary Magneti Marelli in January 2008.

2) Collective Action -
Reports on proletarian struggles in the area

*** Wildcat actions of workers struggling over the payment of the new minimum wage, September and October 2007 -
The series of struggles documented in GurgaonWorkersNews no.9 continue. Here we have translated more reports from Faridabad Majdoor Samaachaar 232. The example of the struggle at Alpia Paramounts shows clearly how local police and management work hand in hand in order to quell workers’ discontent. The example of Oswal Electricals indicates that the workers feel strong enough – even when facing an international automobile supplier – to stay away from work collectively in order to resist the employers’ regime. The workers – female and male workers together – exploited by the textile export company Birla VXL have to fight on a different front: like many other textile exporters the company tries to reduce the work-force due to the current market slump.

*** Short note on road-picket against power shortage in Gurgaon: Sunstroke for the poor, bar out of ice for the rich -
March 2008: Villagers from Damdama and Khedla of Sohna block stopped the traffic movement on Gurgaon-Sohna Road for an hour protesting against the two-day black out in their villages. At the same time 250 army water tankers have to be deployed in order to tackle the current water shortage in Gurgaon. According to the media “this inconvenience has been caused by the residents of Bupania village near Gurgaon who have punctured the canal that supplies water to the city”. The voices of the ruling class blame proletarian villagers – no word about water polluting industries or water wasting golf courses.
While poor people – those who have to work outside, in stuffy factories or in rooms without AC – suffer from the lack of electricity and water, the new rich enjoy displaying that they can afford to waste loads of resources. Be it only in order to express the class difference in difference of temperature: “Gurgaon might soon get India’s first ice bar, where everything from the glasses to the décor will be made up of ice” (Hindustan Times, February 2008).

3) According to Plan -
General information on the development of the region or on certain company policies

*** Short up-date on medical-industrial complex in Gurgaon -
The Gurgaon body-market provides cheap offers for the international business, ranging from kidneys (see GurgaonWorkersNews no.9) to cheap highly skilled labour, e.g. in the public National Brain Research Centre in Manesar. We have a look at the job offers and wage scale of this biotech institute.

4) About the Project -
Updates on Gurgaon Workers News

*** New Video -
A friend has sent a short video clip featuring masses of workers entering the industrial area Udyog Vihar in Gurgaon on their way to morning shift. Impressive; when we imagine the individual hardship and the potential for collective unrest.

*** Glossary -
Updated version of the Glossary: things that you always wanted to know, but could never be bothered to google. Now even in alphabetical order.

————————————————————-

1) Proletarian Experiences -
Daily life stories and reports from a workers’ perspective

*** Long list of short information from workers employed in over 40 different companies in Gurgaon -
Most of the reports do not show much more than the fact that the official legal working standards are not met. Most of the reports are from textile export factories, gathered in September and October 2007. Some of them you might see – but won’t notice – on the video from Udyog Vihar (see web-site).

McExports Worker
(Plot 143, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
There are about 1,000 workers employed in the factory. The official shift-times are from 9 am to 6 pm, but when you leave at 6 pm, the will cut 1,000 Rs from your monthly wage. For a 10-hours shift we get 3,500 Rs per month. When they make you stay till 1 am in the night, they don’t even give money for food; they even make the 150 female workers stay till 1 am. The bosses abuse us and a checker slap-beats people. Money is cut for PF and ESI, but no card is given and no PF form when workers leave the employment.

Coca Cola Worker
(Plot 370-2, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
There are two 12-hours shifts; overtime is paid at single rate. 150 workers are hired through two different contractors; they get 2,000 Rs per month, no ESI or PF.

New Light Worker
(Plot 396, Udyog Vihar III, Gurgaon)
About 400 workers work on two 12-hours shifts. Overtime is paid at even less than single rate; we get 10 Rs per overtime-hour.

Madhu Chavla Design Worker
(Plot 783, Udyog Vihar V, Gurgaon)
The shift times are from 9 am to 8 pm, the helpers get 2,200 Rs per month, skilled workers get 120 Rs for eight hours.

Eastern Medikit Worker
(Plot 195, 196, 205, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
Since the minimum wage has been introduced, the payment for overtime has been reduced from 15 Rs to 12 – 13 Rs per hour.

V & S Worker
(Plot 363, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
500 workers are employed at the factory, shift times are from 8 am to 9 pm, we get 11 – 12 Rs per overtime hour. The July wage for the helpers was 2,2554 Rs. Today, on 28th of September the August wage has not been paid yet.

Viva Global Worker
(Plot 413, Udyog Vihar III, Gurgaon)
On 25th of September 2007 400 workers have been kicked out from the factory, now only 250 are left. The August wage for the helpers was 2,554 Rs for the skilled workers 3,000 Rs to 3,300 Rs.

Harmonious Export Worker
(Plot 730, Udyog Vihar V, Gurgaon)
The Ausut wage for the helpers was 2,400 Rs, for the skilled 4,200 Rs (from which 1,200 Rs was reduced for PF and ESI, but neither ESI nor PF was given)

Chintu Creation Worker
(Plot 295, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
One day before a worker completes six months of working for the company the manager personally hands them their notice. The worker keeps on working in the factory, but does not show in the official documents. One month later he or she is issued a new company card.

Usha Pipe Worker
(Plot 451-2, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
250 workers are employed in the factory. We work from 9.30 am to 8 pm. The helpers’ wage for August was 2,700 to 2,800 Rs, for skilled 3,000 to 3,200 Rs.

Radhunik Exports Worker
(Plot 215, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The shift times are from 9.30 am to 10.30 pm, 600 workers are employed; the helpers get 3,510 Rs, the skilled 3,900 Rs.

Dheer International Worker
(Plot 299, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
700 workers work from 9 am to 1 am every day. The helpers got 2,554 Rs and the skilled 3,000 Rs in August.

Shivank Udyog Worker
(Plot 671-2, Udyog Vihar V, Gurgaon)
900 workers work from 9 am to 8 pm. Overtime is paid at single rate, only half of the workers get PF or ESI. The helpers’ wage in Augsut was 2,554 Rs, the skilled got 120 Rs per eight hours shift.

Shambhu Enterprises Worker
(Plot 30, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
175 workers are employed, they start working at 9 am and finish at 9 pm, sometimes till midnight. The last wage of the helpers was 2,554 Rs, the operators got 2,800 Rs to 3,000 Rs.

S and R Worker
(Plot 298, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
450 workers work on two 12 hours shifts. For a ten hours day, 30 days month the helpers get a monthly wage of 3,510 Rs.

Krasha Label Worker
(Plot 162, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
500 workers work 12 hour shifts.

Bharji Supertech Worker
(Plot 272, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
The helpers hired through contractor get 2,300 Rs to 2,400 Rs.

Gaurav Worker
(Plot 633, Udyog Vihar V, Gurgaon)
Today, on 28th of September, the August wages have not been paid yet. The last wage was 2,200 Rs for the helpers and 2,800 Rs to 3,000 Rs for the skilled.

Logwell Forge Worker
(Plot 116, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The helpers hired through contractors got 2,400 Rs to 2,800 Rs in August. In September all contractors got dismissed and the company hired all workers directly. The September wages for the helpers was then the minimum wage of 3,510 Rs.

Modelama Export Worker
(Plot 105, 184, 200, 201, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
No minimum wage was paid in September and normally 10 to 20 hours of monthly overtime get embezzled. People from the personnel department abuse workers.

Standard Gold Worker
(Plot 235, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The helpers get 2,350 Rs. Overtime is paid at single rate.

Gulati Retail Worker
(Plot 203, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The helpers get 2,800 to 2,900 Rs, overtime paid at single rate.

Jyoti Apparel Worker
(Plot 158-9, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The helpers get 2,200 Rs, the skilled 110 Rs per eight hours shift.

Mona Design Worker
(Plot 146, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The helpers got 2,554 Rs wage for August, the skilled 3,000 Rs to 3,300 Rs. Only a third of the workers get ESI or PF.

Grafty Export Worker
(Plot 377, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
300 workers start work at 9.30 am. They work eight to ten hours, the helpers get 2,200 Rs. Even after three years of employment no ESI or PF.

Usha Global Worker
(Plot 239, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The workers hired through contractors got 2,500 Rs to 3,000 Rs in August 2007.

Lara Industries Worker
(Plot 155, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
25 permanent and 700 workers hired through contractors are employed; only the permanents get ESI and PF. In September the helpers’ wage was 3,000 Rs.

Asia Handycrafts Worker
(Plot 310, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
The skilled workers’ wage in September was 3,000 Rs.

Orient Craft Worker
(Udyog Vihar III, Gurgaon)
The helpers got 2,554 Rs in September, the skilled 2,800 Rs to 3,200 Rs.

Usha Fab Worker
(Plot 435-6, 451-2 Udyog Vihar III, Gurgaon)
The helpers’ wage was 2,200 Rs in September; the skilled workers got 3,000 Rs.

Stick Pen Worker
(Plot 318, Udyog Vihar V, Gurgaon)
In September the helpers were paid 2,000 Rs.

Orchid Worker
(Plot 189, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
In September the helpers were paid 2,554 Rs.

Gaurav International Worker
(Plot 506, Udyog Vihar III, Gurgaon)
In September the helpers were paid 2,500 Rs the skilled 2,900 Rs.
(Plot 225, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The helpers hired directly by the company got 3,510 in September, the helpers from contractors 2,500 Rs.

Shivam Embroidery Worker
(Plot D-64, Udyog Vihar V, Gurgaon)
For a 12-hours shift and a 26-day month the helpers get 2,200 Rs to 3,000 Rs, the skilled 4,500 to 4,800 rs.

Niti Clothing Worker
(Plot 218, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
In September the helpers got 2,554 Rs, the skilled 3,100 Rs to 3,200 Rs.

Alanker Worker
(Plot 410, Udyog Vihar III, Gurgaon)
The work starts at 9 am and finishes at 7.30 pm. The helpers get 3,510 Rs, for a daily 10 1/2-hours shift.

SK Fabric Worker
(Plot 13-C, Udyog Vihar V, Gurgaon)
200 workers do two 12-hours shifts; overtime is paid at single rate. The helpers get 2,150 Rs the skilled 2,400 to 2,500 Rs.

Spark Worker
(Plot 166, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
300 casual workers and 350 workers hired through contractors are employed. They don’t get ESI or PF. On 15th of October the September wages have not been given. People work from 9 am to 8.30 pm, sometimes till 1.45 am. There is no day off. There are only two toilets for all workers.

Rolax Auto Worker
(Plot 303, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
The factory runs two 12-hours shifts. Helpers last wage was 2,460 Rs, the operators got 2,800 Rs to 3,500 Rs. As of the 15th of October, the September wage had not yet been paid.

Mega Export Worker
(Plot 488, Udyog Vihar III, Gurgaon)
500 workers are employed, they start work at 9 am and finish by 7.30 pm. Overtime is paid at single rate, helpers got 2,410 and skilled workers 2,600 Rs to 2650 Rs.

Suri Impex Worker
(Plot 211, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The helpers’ August wage was 2,200 Rs to 2,300 Rs. The September wage was not paid by the 15th of October. Workers are verbally abused in the factory.

B & S International Worker
(Plot 301, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
Helpers get 2,300 Rs. The August wage was given late, on 28th of September 2007.

Tahersaa Export Worker
(Plot 174, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
People work from 9 am to 8.30 pm. The helpers get 2,200 Rs the skilled workers 3,000 Rs. No ESI or PF is given.

Saan International Worker
(Plot 330, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
The helpers get 2,554 Rs; PF form is not handed out when people leave the company.

Sign Impex
(Plot 254, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
The factory runs 13-hours shifts. Helpers get a monthly wage of 2,554 Rs.

R.L. Khanna Export Worker
(Plot 289, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
The helpers get 2,200 Rs to 2,600 Rs, the skilled 3,000 Rs for September.

Premium Molding Worker
(Plot 185, Udyog Vihar I, Gurgaon)
There are 250 permanents and 250 casuals employed in the factory, which runs two 12-hours shifts. One hour of overtime is paid at 6 Rs. The monthly wage of the helpers is 2,400 Rs, the operators get 3,000 Rs to 3,500 Rs. No ESI or PF given.

*** Accident, everything but accidental! -
A worker employed by Dheer International in Gurgaon tells about how the company treated him after his work accident.

Dheer International worker
(Plot 299, Udyog Vihar II, Gurgaon)
I used to work in the washing department. Two month ago I fell from the roof. I was knocked unconscious. The company brought me to a private clinic in Dundahera. The doctor ordered two months rest in bed due to the hip injury. After two months I was not better. The company then said that I have to take care of the further treatment myself. I complained to the labour department. On the 3rd of October 2007, the first appointment at the labour department, the company representatives did not show up. On the 11th of October the company was present but refused to admit that I fell from the company’s roof. We came to an agreement concerning the further treatment and the payment of wages. When I came to the company on 12th of October the lawyer abused me verbally and he forced me to sign vouchers. He gave me only 2,200 Rs for outstanding wages and as final payment. I went to the police. I will go to the labour department again.

*** Report from Motherson Sumi System Worker from Noida -

Motherson Sumi System Worker
In January 2008 Magneti Marelli and Motherson signed an agreement for a joint venture, which is aimed at the production of automotive components in the area of lighting and engine control systems. In February 2008 Magneti signed another agreement with SKH Metals and SKH Sheet Metal Components respectively. The industrial entity created together with SKH Metals will be located at the Maruti Suzuki Industrial Supplier Park in Manesar (Gurgaon), where Magneti Marelli is already present with its joint venture with Suzuki Motor and Maruti Suzuki India, aimed at the production of electronic control units for diesel engines, already announced earlier. With companies like Bosch, Delphi, Magneti Marelli etc. the international regime of automobile suppliers extend their production chains to the industrial areas of Gurgaon.
(Plant A-15, C-14, Y-2, Sector-6, Noida)
The factory manufactures electrical harnesses for the automobile industry, may be this is why there are not the usual two 12-hours shifts running, but three 8-hours shifts instead. On the two day shifts both young men and women are employed, the night shift is only staffed with men. In the A-15 plant 500 women work on each two day shifts and 300 men on each three shifts. Casual workers have been sent to the new Motherson factory in Faridabad (also see report in GurgaonWorkersNews no.6). In the C-14 factory there are 4,000 workers. The company headquarter is also situated there. In the Y-2 factory 1,400 women and 1,500 men work. There are only very few permanent workers at Motherson, in the Y-2 factory there are 200 permanent female workers and 100 male, meaning that 90 per cent of the Motherson workforce is casual. The male workers are sacked after eight months employment, and then they have to wait for six months before they can apply again. They are then hired for a different plant. The women are not sacked, but they remain on casual status, even after working there for three or four years. Every second months there is loads of work for a period of 15 to 20 days. The women then work from 6 am to 10 pm continuously. In order to get to the factory in time they have to get up at 3.30 am. They don’t get enough sleep. They don’t give you a day off, even when you are ill. The lads are made to work a 24-hours shift, they then have a two to three hours break for washing and at 9 am they have to be at work in order to do another 12-hours shift. During that time the women make 90 hours overtime per months and the male workers 175 hours. Legally they are not allowed to let us work more than 50 hours overtime in a period of three months. Therefore the overtime does not show on the pay slip.

2) Collective Action -
Reports on proletarian struggles in the area

*** Wildcat actions of workers struggling over the payment of the new minimum wage, September and October 2007 -

The series of struggles documented in GurgaonWorkersNews no.9 continue, here we have translated some more reports from Faridabad Majdoor Samaachaar 232. The example of the struggle at Alpia Paramounts clearly shows how local police and management work hand in hand in order to quell workers’ discontent. The example of Oswal Electricals indicates that the workers feel strong enough – even when facing an international automobile supplier – to collectively stay away from work in order to resist the employers’ regime. The workers – female and male workers together – exploited by the textile export company Birla VXL have to fight on a different front: like many other textile exporters the company tries to reduce the work-force due to the current market slump.

Alpia Paramounts Worker
(Plot 60, Sector 6, Faridabad)
The Alpia factory employs 100 permanent and 400 casual workers on two 12-hours shifts. Two to three times per months the workers have to work 36-hours shifts. The overtime payment is at single rate. Between 20 and 25 hours of monthly overtime pay gets stolen from workers by the company. The drinking water is brackish, and we have been demanding better water for two weeks.
The August wages were paid on 10th of September, the permanent workers were paid the new minimum wage of 3,510 Rs, but the casuals were only given 2,000 Rs. They refused to take the money. On 11th of September the casual workers did not enter the factory, but instead sat down in front of the gate, demanding the payment of 3,510 Rs. The company called the police and soon enough two police cars arrived. The managing director told the workers that the September wage will be according to the minimum wage, but they should take the 2,000 Rs for August. After two hours of sitting down outside, the casuals entered the factory. The Alpia boss who had called the workers inside by promising the minimum wage then ordered casual workers individually into his office. There he told them that their wage would be increased by 500 Rs to a new total of 2,500 Rs per month. The Apia boss also told two casual workers to attend a meeting at the factory gate on 15th of September. When they arrived a police car was already waiting for them. The two workers were ordered to enter the car. The manager was already inside the car. Both policemen and manager started to threaten the workers. The police car drove to the remote sector 22 and the two workers were kicked out the car.

Oswal Electricals Worker
(Plot 48-49, Industrial Area, Faridabad)
The company runs two plants in Faridabad, supplying the automobile and white goods industries with die cast (aluminium) and assembled parts. Amongst others Oswal supplies: Electrolux, LG, Yamaha, TVS, Honda, Hero Honda. The company’s machinery is mainly from Germany and Japan. Oswal had a stall at the industrial fair Euroguss, which took place in Nürnberg, Germany in March 2008. (See: http://www.oswalelectricals.com) After the minimum wage was increased to 3,510 Rs the company ordered that from now on the die casting machines had to be operated by one instead of two workers. As a reaction against this order the operators stayed away from work together. As a result, on 10th of September 2007 only 5 of 25 machines ran. On 12th of September a foreman was driving around on his motorbike, looking for the operators. In order to strengthen their collectivity the operators had met up together and discussed the situation.

Birla VXL Worker
(14/5 Mathura Road, Faridabad)
Birla VXL exports textiles, trousers and suits (see: http://www.birla-vxl.com). At Mathura Road factory 65 permanent workers and 450 casual workers are employed. On 14th of September the management announced that the factory would be shut for the next eight days. We asked what the reason was, but the bosses wouldn’t tell us. Then, on the 15th of September we found out that the company had started to remove the machines from the factory. We – female and male workers – went to the factory and stopped the removal of the machines. The company called the cops. Having already complained at the labour department, the police office and the local administrations, we are now thinking about taking other steps. We are a group of 45 female and 20 male permanent workers.

Paramount Polymers Worker
(Sector 59, Part B, Jharsentali Jajru Marg, Faridabad)
The company manufactures plastic boxes, employing 25 permanents and 130 casual workers. On 12th of September the August wages were paid: 2,000 Rs for the casuals. They refused to take the money and stopped working. When the chairman announced to everyone that the September wages would be 3,510 Rs and that we should take the 2,000 Rs for August, we trusted him. On the 13th of September the boss called the casuals individually and told them that there will be a wage increase, but that it won’t be 3,510 Rs in September either. “Stay calm and take the money, do your work or go somewhere else”.

*** Short note on road-picket against power shortage in Gurgaon -

The electricity unrest hit the road when villagers from Damdama and Khedla of Sohna block stopped the traffic movement near Badshahpur on Gurgaon-Sohna road for an hour protesting against the two-day black out in their villages.

According to protestors, previously they were getting electricity only for a couple of hours per day. For past two days there was no power supply at all in these two villages. “We are fed up and it is unimaginable for us to live in villages without electricity and water. That’s why we have come all this way to stage our protest outside the electricity office at Badshahpur. We will not go until we get a permanent solution to our power crisis,” said Raj Kumar Nambardar. Only after police intervened and assured them of an immediate solution, did the protestors withdraw and let the traffic move on the busy road.
(Times of India, 17th of March 2008)

The electricity cuts are aggravated by the current water shortage. According to a report on NDTV in late March 2008 about 250 army water tankers have been sent to Gurgaon in order to tackle the water shortage and to secure a minimum water supply. The Hindustan Times, 21st of March, does not blame water polluting industries or water wasting golf courses and upper class estates for the water shortage, but the poor: “This inconvenience has been caused by the residents of Bupania village near Gurgaon who have punctured the canal that supplies water to the city. The 65-km long canal, that brings water for Gurgaon from Kakori (Sonepat), had been punctured to get water for fields in Bupania village”.

While poor people – those who have to work outside, in stuffy factories or in rooms without air conditioning – suffer from the lack of electricity and water, the new rich enjoy displaying that they can afford to waste loads of resources, be it only in order to express the class difference in difference of temperature:

“Gurgaon gets country’s first ice bar
Gurgaon might soon get India’s first ice bar, where everything from the glasses to the décor will be made up of ice.
Ashok Sharma, deputy excise and taxation commissioner, told HT: “Hotels and restaurants already having bar licence would be allowed to open ice bars. They’ll have to pay an additional annual fee of Rs 1 lakh.” The temperature inside ice bars is around -5 degrees Celsius. “Guests are given special attires and shoes,” he added. London, Melbourne, Stockholm, Shanghai and Dubai already have such bars”.
(HT, 12th of February 2008)

3) According to Plan -
General information on the development of the region or on certain company policies

*** Short up-date on medical-industrial complex in Gurgaon -
The Gurgaon body-market provides cheap offers for the international business, ranging from kidneys (see GurgaonWorkersNews no.9) to cheap highly skilled labour, e.g. the public National Brain Research Centre in Gurgaon, Manesar (“An Autonomous Institute of the Dept. of Biotechnology, Government of India”). To have a look at the job offers and wage scale of this biotech institute we have chosen the best paid and most skilled job vacancy (published in February 2008), a medium and the lowest paid job on offer:

01 SCIENTIST VII
Pay Scale: Rs. 18400-22400 Rs per month
Essential Qualifications/ Experience: PhD/corresponding degrees with original work as evidenced by patents or publications. Evidence of leadership with about 16 years of R&D experience.

The wage offered equals the wage of an experienced call centre worker in Gurgaon. In Dollar or Euro terms: 540 USD or 340 Euro.

12 Librarians
Pay Scale: 6500–10500 Rs per month
Essential Qualifications/ Experience: MA/ MCom/ MSc with Bachelor in Library Science or MLib with 3 years relevant experience in a Govt. Institute/University or an Organization of repute.
Desirable: One year Diploma in Computer Application and knowledge of scientific terms and experience working in Scientific Organizations.

24 Driver
Pay scale: 3050-4590
Essential Qualifications/ Experience: VIIIth pass. Must possess valid driving license for light and heavy vehicles. Knowledge of Motor Mechanism (should be able to rectify minor defects in vehicles).
Desirable: Experience of driving a CNG bus/motor car for three years.

The current minimum wage for unskilled helpers in the industry is 3,510 Rs.

4) About the Project -
Updates on Gurgaon Workers News

*** New Video -
A friend has sent a short video clip featuring masses of workers entering the industrial area Udyog Vihar in Gurgaon on their way to morning shift. Impressive; when we imagine the individual hardship and the potential for collective unrest.

*** Glossary -
Updated version of the Glossary: things that you always wanted to know, but could never be bothered to google. Now even in alphabetical order.

AITUC
BPO
CITU
Casual Workers
Contract Workers
Crore
DA
DC
ESI
Exchange Rate
HSIIDC
ITI
Jhuggi
Lakh (see Crore)
Lay off
Minimum Wage
Panchayat
PF
Ration Card
SP
Staff
Trainees
VRS
Wages and Prices
Workers hired through contractors

AITUC
The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) is the oldest trade union federation in India and one of the five largest. It was founded in 1919 and until 1945, when unions became organised along party lines, it was the central trade union organisation in India. Since then it has been affiliated with the Communist Party of India.

BPO
Business Process Outsourcing: for example of call centre work, market research, sales.

CITU
Centre of Indian Trade Unions, a national central trade union federation in India. Politically attached to CPI(M), Communist Party of India (Marxist). Founded in 1970, membership of 2.8 million.

Casual Workers
Workers hired by the company for a limited period of time.

Contract Workers
Workers hired for a specific performance, paid for the performance.

Crore
1 Crore = 10,000,000
1 Lakh = 100,000

DA (Dearness Allowance):
An inflation compensation. Each three to six months the state government checks the general price development and accordingly pays an allowance on top of wages.

DC
Deputy Commissioner, Head of the District Administration.

ESI (Employee’s State Insurance):
Introduced in 1948, meant to secure employee in case of illness, long-term sickness, industrial accidents and to provide medical facilities (ESI Hospitals) to insured people. Officially the law is applicable to factories employing 10 or more people. Employers have to contribute 4.75 percent of the wage paid to the worker, the employee 1.75 percent of their wage. Officially casual workers or workers hired through contractors who work in the factory (even if it is for construction, maintenance or cleaning work on the premises) are entitled to ESI, as well. Self-employment is often used to undermine ESI payment.

Exchange Rate:
1 US-Dollar = 43 Rs (March 2007)
1 Euro = 57 Rs (March 2007)

HSIIDC
Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation

ITI
Industrial training, e.g. as electrician or mechanic. Two years of (technical school), one year of apprentice-ship in a company. During the two years at school the young workers receive no money, but they have to pay school fees. A lot of the bigger companies ask for ITI qualification.

Jhuggi
Slum Hut

Lakh
see Crore

Lay off
Lay off in the Indian context means that workers have to mark attendance, but they actually do not work and receive only half of the wage.

Minimum Wage:
Official minimum wage in Haryana in June 2007 is 3,510 Rs per month for an unskilled worker, based on an 8-hour day and 4 days off per month. But hardly any workers get this wage.

Panchayat
A locally elected village administrative body in charge of village-level issues.

PF (Employee’s Provident Fund):
Introduced in 1952, meant to provide a pension to workers. Officially applicable to all companies employing more than 20 people. Official retirement age is 58 years. Given that most of the casual workers belong to the regular workforce of a factory, they are entitled to the Provident Fund, as well. So are workers employed by contractors. If workers receive neither PF nor ESI they also do not show up in the official documents, meaning that officially they do not exist.

Ration Card
Officially the so called ‘governmental fair price shops’ are shops were ‘officially poor’ people can buy basic items (wheat, rice, kerosene etc.) for fixed and allegedly lower prices. In order to be able to buy in the shops you need a ration card. The ration card is also necessary as a proof of residency, but in order to obtain the ration card you have to proof your residency. Catch 22. Local politics use the ration depots and cards as a power tool that reaches far into the working class communities. Depot holders’ jobs are normally in the hands of local political leaders. In return they receive this privileged position, which often enable them to make money on the side.

SP
Superintendent of Police, Head of the District Police.

Staff
In India staff includes managers, supervisors, security personnel and white-collar workers.

Trainees
In general trainees work as normal production workers, they might have a six-month up to two-year contract. Depending on the company they are promised permanent employment after passing the trainee period. Their wages are often only slightly higher than those of workers hired through contractors.

VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme):
Often a rather involuntary scheme to get rid of permanent workers. Particularly the VRS at Maruti in Gurgaon made this clear, when 35 year olds were sent in early retirement.

Wages and Prices:
When we hear that a cleaner in a call centre in Gurgaon, an industrial worker in Faridabad or a rikshaw-driver in Delhi earns 2,000 Rs for a 70 hour week, which is about the average normal worker’s wage, we have to bear in mind that they often came from West Bengal, Bihar or other remote place in order to get this job. In order to put 2,000 Rs into a daily context here are some prices of goods and services:

Housing:
– Monthly rent for a plastic-tarpaulin hut shared by two people in Gurgaon: 800 Rs
– Monthly rent for a small room in Gurgaon (without kitchen), toilet and bathroom shared by five families: 1,300 Rs
– Monthly rent for a small room in a new building in central Gurgaon, single toilet and bathroom: 4,500 Rs to 8,000 Rs

Food:
– Half a kilo red lentils on the local market: 25 Rs
– Kilo rice on local market: 14 Rs
– 1 Kilo Onions and 1 Kilo carrots on local market: 25 to 30 Rs
– McChicken: 40 Rs
– Bottle (0,7l) of beer at Haryana Wine and Beer shop: 50 to 70 Rs
– Cigarettes (10), cheapest local brand: 25 Rs
– Starbucks Coffee (Latte Medium) in Shopping Mall: 59 Rs

Utensils:
– Faulty shirt on Faridabad local market: 40 Rs
– Single gas cooker plus new 2 litre gas cylinder: 720 Rs
– Re-fill gas (2 litres – once every month and a half): 100Rs
– Second-hand bicycle: 600 to 1,000 Rs
– Two simple steel pots: 250 Rs

Transport and Communication:
– Bus ticket to nearest bigger bus stop in South Delhi: 14 Rs
– Daily Newspaper: 3 Rs
– One hour internet in a cafe: 20 Rs
– Cinema (new) ticket Saturday night: 160 Rs
– Single entry for swimming pool: 100 Rs
– One litre Diesel: 30 Rs
– Driving license in Haryana: 2,000 to 2,500 Rs
– Start package pre-paid mobile phone (without the phone) 300 Rs
– Phone call to other mobile phones: 1 Rs
– One month mobile phone flat rate: 1,500 Rs

Luxuries:
– Minimum dowry poor workers have to pay for the marriage of their daughter: about 30,000 Rs (80,000 Rs more likely)
– Money given to poor labourers for their kidney: about 40,000 Rs
– Compaq Laptop: 50,000 Rs
– Flight Delhi to London: 28,000 Rs
– Cheapest Hero Honda motorbike (150 cc): around 40,000 Rs
– Ford Fiesta: 587,000 Rs
– Four hours on Gurgaon golf course: 800 Rs (info from golf course worker earning 2,400 Rs monthly)
– Two-Bedroom Apartment in Gurgaon: 10,000,000 to 50,000,000 Rs

Workers hired through contractors
Similar to temporary workers, meaning that they work (often for long periods) in one company but are officially employed by a contractor from whom they also receive their wages. Are supposed to be made permanent after 240 days of continuous employment in the company, according to the law. A lot of companies only have a licence for employing workers in auxiliary departments, such as canteen or cleaning. Companies usually find ways to get around these legal restrictions, e.g., workers services are terminated on the 239th day to avoid workers reaching eligibility criteria to become permanent. In many industries contract workers account for 60 to 80 per cent of the work force, their wage is 1/4 to 1/6 of the permanents’ wage.

5 Responses to “GurgaonWorkersNews no.9/10”

  1. Uwe Ahrens Says:

    Dear writers,
    I find your reports very informative. Especially the question of the very low wages and bad working conditions are a question, that is very important for the workers here in Germany and elsewhere. Partly this question still works as a knife, that parts workers in different countries from one another, because some workers fear for their jobs and think they might loose them or losse them actually, “because the workers for instance in Rumania(Nokia)work for such low wages. Therefore it is a crucial task, to overcome this split in the thinking and the emotions. For this task I think your informations are very valuable. The question of international solidarity will be of ever greater importance, not only on the manifestations on the first of May.
    Friendly greetings, U.Ahrens Oldenburg


  2. You see, electronic cigarettes do not actually burn any tobacco, but , when you inhale from an e-cigarette, you activate a “flow censor” which releases a water vapor containing nicotine, propylene glycol,

  3. roshan Says:

    I read the letter “*** Report from Motherson Sumi System Worker from Noida -” me too agree with him. Me worked as an engineer in chennai plant(MSSL), i quit without wasting my precious time.


  4. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your website,
    how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 173 other followers

%d bloggers like this: