GANGTOK: On the occasion of International Labour Day or May Day, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay announced that the minimum wages of labourers who do not fulfil the criteria for regularisation will be revised to Rs. 15,000/- under the Minimum Wages Act.
The Chief Minister, who was addressing a gathering at Gangtok’s Manan Kendra from New Delhi’s Sikkim House on Sunday, said, “The State government is committed to the health and welfare of the labourers and workers’ community. We will continue to facilitate various schemes to regulate their employment, conditions of services and protect them from exploitations of any kind.”
Highlighting the various other initiatives undertaken by the Sikkim government for the welfare of the labourers and workers, the Chief Minister urged all the labourers and workers to register themselves with the Labour department in order to take full advantage of various schemes and programmes initiated by the Centre and the State government.
Stating that drivers are essential workers in every society, the Chief Minister said that an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh will be granted to the next kin in case on the unfortunate death of a driver in accident or during other professional duties.
The CM said that a proposed Drivers’ Welfare Board will provide assistance in the interest and welfare of drivers of Sikkim will be established soon, and for which budget has already been allocated.
The state-level celebration organised by the Sikkim’s labour Department was also attended by labour minister M.N. Sherpa.
“The State government achieved a historical milestone with the introduction of the Sikkim Labour Bill, 2021, which has made mandatory the registration and annual licensing of service providers or employers and establishments along with the labourers. The Sikkim government has been facilitating various schemes dedicated to protecting the labourers and workers’ community by bringing transparency to manpower management in the State,” Sherpa said.
He urged all the heads of the companies to immediately avail the facility of suggestion/complaint box if they haven’t yet. “The keys to the box need to be handed over to the concerned officials of the labour department. The complaint box will be kept away from the radar of any CCTVs in the area,” said Sherpa.
Transport Minister Sanjit Kharel, who was in attendance at Gangtok, stated, “The revised Minimum Wages Act to Rs. 15,000/- as announced by the Chief Minister is in itself a gift to the labourers and workers community of Sikkim on the occasion of the International Labour Day. There has been a significant decrease in cases of labour unrest in the State and an increase in the prosperity of the community with 90% of active labourers contributing towards the development of the State as a whole.”
Kharel urged for better HR coordination and collaboration as well. “In order to build strong employee relationships, both employer and the employee should have a good intention of ensuring the welfare of the State. Full support of the State government for the protection and safety of the rights of the labourers and workers.”
During the event, the Labour Department launched the e-service portal Sikkim Shram Suvidha (www.labour.sikkim.gov.in) and the help desk with a toll-free helpline number for labourers – 18003451474.
Meanwhile, Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum (SPYF) also organized May Day event in Singtam to demand the minimum wage be increased to Rs 21,000. SPYF and workers from pharmaceutical companies, Hydro power companies, PWD workers, Temi tea Garden were in attendance. The event saw a thick presence of workers from all sectors.
The gathering also signed a memorandum addressed to the Labour Minister of the state with demands for increase of minimum wage to minimum Rs 21,000 per month. Withdrawal of all cases filed against the workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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