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Wages & job cuts: Labour Dept control rooms flooded with 10,000 complaints in lockdown

Wages & job cuts: Labour Dept control rooms flooded with 10,000 complaints in lockdown

Despite government's plea, private companies have cut salaries and fired employees

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Over 10,000 complaints have been received across 20 control rooms set up by the government for registering grievances related to wages and retrenchment
  • Central labour commissioner (CLC) field staff have referred cases to state governments to resolve
  • Noida Labour department office has seen a spate of complaints against BPO companies in the area
  • Cases pertain to deduction in wages, non-payment and termination of service

The Labour Department control rooms have been flooded with complaints of non-payment of wages and layoffs despite both Centre and states' direction to private companies to pay wages and avoid job cuts amid lockdown. Over 10,000 complaints have been received across 20 control rooms set up by the government, a senior official in the labour department told BusinessToday.In.

The actual number of affected workers and staff could be much higher given that very few people prefer to go against their employers and formally lodge a complaint.

While announcing the nationwide lockdown to contain coronavirus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to employers to not cut wages of staff. Following this, Ministry of Labour also issued an advisory asking factory owners and other establishments to pay full wages to workers.

The official said that control rooms have been getting complaints from employees in private firms and factories covered under both central and state governments.  "Our control rooms have been receiving complaints from firms covered in both central and state spheres. We primarily deal with central sphere industries such as mines, ports, PSUs and also private firms operating from these premises," the official said.

Asked if applications had also been received for closure of plants and factories during the ongoing lockdown, the official replied in negative. The Chief Labour Commissioner (centre) officials have taken up the complaints from persons affected by firms covered under state laws with state governments to get them resolved.

"Complaints have been received from affected employees of IT companies, BPO (Business Process Outsourcings) companies, constructions firms and many other sectors," the official said. A local labour department official based in Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida and areas around) said that his office had seen a spate of complaints against BPO companies operating in the area.

"On the directions of Ministry of Labour we are operating the control room here. We have been getting complaints related to private firms in central and state spheres, provident fund (PF) and ESI. We generally refer the cases to concerned state or government departments," the official said.

"Grievances against private companies based out of Noida are being referred to state government. Majority of the grievances out of around 600-700 are against BPOs. The cases pertain to deduction in wages, non-payment and termination also," he added.

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