Coal major's wage hike deal

Better pay, medical facilities and provident fund ' over 25,000 contract labourers working for 16 private outsourcing companies in 12 areas of BCCL couldn't have asked for a better Diwali gift.

BCCL has agreed to raise the minimum wage for contract labourers, who mainly operate heavy earthmoving machines used in excavation work in 28 mining patches, to around Rs 12,671 per month ' a four-fold increase. At present, they get around Rs 3,000 to 6,500 per month.

This apart, they will be entitled to medical facilities on a par with regular employees of BCCL and also provident fund. The workers will also not have to toil for long hours in violation of labour laws.

The agreement was signed between Janta Mazdoor Sangh (Bachcha Singh faction), an affiliate of Hind Mazdoor Sabha, and BCCL management at BCCL headquarters at 9pm on Tuesday.

According to the settlement, a minimum wage of Rs 415 per day has been fixed for unskilled labourers, Rs 424.60 for semi-skilled labourers, Rs 434 for skilled labourers and Rs 456.61 for highly skilled labourers.

The signing of the agreement was preceded by a hearing at the office of regional labour commissioner R.S. Sharma at 8pm. Finally, it was decided that the issue would be resolved between BCCL and Janta Mazdoor Sangh.

Calling the development historic, Dhanbad deputy mayor Niraj Singh, who is also central secretary of Janta Mazdoor Sangh, said: "It will put to an end exploitation of around 25,000 labourers, who are denied all facilities."