Workers and their rights- And the reality
Rights and duties
May Day is celebrated on 1st May every year as “workers’ Day” all over the world. We appreciate their role as ‘makers of a nation’ and therefore support their rightful demand of hike in wages for doing a hard job that helps in keeping this world going. Therefore the slogan demanding “Let the workers of the World Unite” is their right and they deserve a better pay. But workers have a duty to discharge too but at least half of us do not want to talk about that.
However, there are reasons to believe that the exploitation continues from all sides and it will continue. In case of employers the exploiters belong to more powerful lobby and have the means to do so. It is very much obvious that governments all over the world depend on them for their support for various reasons therefore the chances are the workers will have to keep their fight on.
What do you think the minimum wage should be? There is a lot of talk about this. Many businesses houses say increment on wages would put them out of business or even reduce the number employees they hire. What do you think or should I ask it this way do you think they are right or trying to save themselves from paying workers their rightful pay?
I don’t put teachers in the category of labors but it is a fact that in our country they used to be the lowest paid category of working classes. There is no doubt that teachers were paid lesser than what they deserved but things have changed now and they are getting reasonable salaries especially in government sector.
Unorganized Private Sector
As far unorganized private sector is concerned it’s one of the lowliest paid categories as we can see the workers not being paid even one third of what their government counterparts getting. In some cases the money paid to a private teacher is less than ¼ and that too for only 10 months as they are appointed on ad hoc basis every year thus denied the salary for summer vacation of 2 months.
Talking about teachers being paid less in private institutions- It is happening in Karnataka in almost all government schools where they have at least 20% of the staff on temporary terms and wages. Unless we pay a certain sum every time the pay check comes which is once in three months for dues that are six to seven months old, the check gets further delayed or sent back.
In factories, many employees are not shown in employee roll and thus deprived of E.S.I and E.P.F benefits. They are just paid cash and no proof is left of their service. The employers show fewer workers on roll with several motives. One is that they will not have to comply with labor law, viz. E.S.I, PF etc. Secondly, with less workers on roll, they will show less production and so less liability for central excise, sales tax/VAT as well as income tax.
The only way to fight exploitation is to form strong workers' unions. Collective strength of workers is definitely more than individual worker's. That is why the workers in unorganized sector are exploited more. On May Day, the importance of strong workers' movement and unions can hardly be under stated.
Exploitation continues today also. Recently I was told that in many private colleges teachers are paid govt. approved scales of pay but a part of it is deducted and shown as their donation to the college. How ingenuous. Should we blame Modi government or previous government? No, we have to blame greed of humans.
Working class in agricultural, industry, unorganized sector and armed forces both regular, police and paramilitary are the backbone of any country but unfortunately they are also the neglected lot, probably because they come from the low/middle income group and are very large in number. Giving them a rise or any extra benefit cannot be done in a hurry because it is bound to make a huge dent in the budget directly or indirectly. From time to time benefits are being added and pay scales increased though but that is not enough.
But having posted all these points we have certain points for workers to follow as well as there is no one way traffic possible in any field. We should look at both the aspects duty and rights equally. We give preference to rights but forget all about duty. For instance-
Are we behaving ethically at workplace or discharging our duty as much as expected from us? Are we behaving properly at work place or keeping the image of our organization intact?
Use of wrong language at workplace
Most of us feel bad when get rejected but there is a reason behind every rejection. Recently I came to know that the candidate who scored best in written exams among his batch mates appeared in an interview held in their college campus was not selected. He became victim of his bad habit of repeating unrelated sentences at wrong place and was sorted out.
I was curious to know the reason and asked the concerned officer in the human resources department. I was not surprised by the answer he gave me. The candidate otherwise an intelligent person had a bad habit of using so many catch phrase repeatedly that the interviewer marked him negatively.
Actually for some people the description is so wide and off the topic and full of repeat sentences which will be considered as mere jargon by people having shortage of time or have to attend other things too. Besides the person talking on a specialized topic with a different kind of language nothing to do with a particular trade, profession, or similar group, especially when difficult to understand or correlate.
Every professional should know that bad habits affect their career and one never knows where it hits them. And the list of bad habits is not limited to smoking in prohibited places, stealing or dinking in working hours but have so many other things which come under the category of bad habits minutely monitored by human resources department.
While on the topic of good and bad habits let me tell you that all habits good or bad have the same process of development but considered either good or bad based on how the effect the society on the whole. It may sound bad but a person with bad habits is no good despite having the best of talents.
So lesser the number of bad habits better the life but how does one get rid of his bad habits. There are number of ways but the best way is to get rid of your bad habits in one go. In my views you can’t get rid of your bad habits in pieces or phases. It’s all about your will power.
Note: In my future posts I will write about factory workers and their problems in detail
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