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LABOUR- The Railways Subalterns

ministration headed by Rajiv Gandhi as an emergence of new hope and opportunities for foreign collaborators in India". There is, however, a snag here. The then Economic Affairs Secretary may well be right that Indian firms are not rising to the expectations of the government in respect of the number of proposals for foreign tie-ups. The government may also, as he assured, welcome more' foreign collaborations. But the Indian firms have to find collaborators abroad and they are not available for the asking.

JUTE LABOUR-Owners Flout Settlements

Owners Flout Settlements Timir Basu EVERY new settlement in the jute industry faces the same old stalemate its non-implementation by the owners. The 1984 tripartite settlement too, signed on April 7 in the presence of the Chief Minister and the labour Minister, is meeting the same fate. The preceding 83-days long strike -- (he longest since the industry's workers first struck work in 1896

WEST BENGAL-Jute Workers Strike

WEST BENGAL Jute Workers' Strike Timir Basu THE indefinite strike of jute workers which began on January 16 is likely to continue despite the mill-owners' hectic lobbying in New Delhi and Calcutta. This is the seventeenth strike in the jute industry since 1947 and the second major one since 1977 when the Left Front government Assumed office.

WEST BENGAL-Who s Afraid of Minimum Wages

the workers of HEC are the victims of this atmosphere, as it corrodes the working class character of a section of workers. Coming back to the main question, linking wage increases with increased productivity (or even production) would mean a wage freeze. This is what the unions have to counter. Unofficially, it is being said that the government had dropped the attempt to link increase in wages with production. What new guidelines will be issued is not yet certain, but the Bureau of Public Enterprises' old guideline of not allowing a more than 10 per cent wage increase is still valid. Given the desperate resource position of the Central government it is likely that an attempt will be made to further cut that down and impose a virtual wage-freeze under some formula or the other.

LABOUR-Shrinking Workforce in Jute Industry

uniform workpattern for the industry; nor did the mills effect changes in workload to the same degree. But everywhere the workload was revised upward in such a way that the introduction of bhagwala system was the logical culmination.

WEST BENGAL-Bleak Outlook for Power

September 26, 1981 WEST BENGAL Bleak Outlook for Power Timir Basu WEST BENGAL continues to be oppressed by chronic power shortages. In fact, power cuts are on the increase. Within one month, industrial activity had to be halted on more than one occasion because of restrictions imposed on high tension consumption. Domestic consumers are, of course, faced with power failure every day. While the bUger establishments have been somehow tiding over the crisis, either by dubious means or by pumping extra money into captive generators, small enterprises arevery hard hit. The West Bengal State Electricity Board (WBSEB) has even gone so far as to warn that there will be still less power in the coming years. The Power Secretary disclosed that the state would have to live with a staggering shortfall of 1000 MW till

WEST BENGAL-Reserve Bank Employees Agitation

nearly 50,000 jharkhandi workers front the mines following nationalisation in 1971 in order to give preference to north Bihar is for jobs whose wages had now doubled was the final straw. The outcome was the formation of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and a, new alliance of the oppressed toilers of the region, mine workers, labourers and peasants. In spite of heavy repression, political funetuations and weak cadre and organisational development, the JMM survives and is growing in the region.

LABOUR-Raw Deal for Bengal Textile Workers

 from the bumper harvests of this year and its preference for supplies from abroad in order, as is claimed, to discipline domestic producers and traders. This is but part of the overall economic philosophy which has gained ascendancy. This is to let market forces have a free play while the government is unable or unwilling to regulate the economy on the basis of any criteria or priority relevant to economic growth or equity.

JUTE LABOUR-Mirage of Grades and Scales

demands. The Patnaiks are placating mainly the upper-class peasantry. This is dear from the nature of the villagers' demands like irrigation, schools, teachers, adequate transport to the towns, power and employment for educated youth. The chief minister has laid about half a dozen foundation-stones, such as for minor irrigation propects. in the constituency after the poll dates were fixed.

WEST BENGAL-The Dispossessed of Kolaghat

and in Pachapur it is 24 kilos. Each area has its own peculiar customs also. Certain rebates are demanded in the purchase of tobacco. These are popularly known as 'cuts' and these vary from area to area. In kadakla, for example, certain 'cuts' are made in the weighing of the tobacco: 7 to 9 kilos are cut for tobacco thread and dust; 3 kilos are cut for the weight of the gunny bag; and the most peculiar cut is the 'air- cut', which is the amount that is reduced for tobacco flying in the air at the time of measuring. One kilo is normally deducted as 'air-cut'. Over and above this there is a concession 'cut' of Rs 5 per hundered rupees. So if a fanner gets Rs 800 for 80 kilos his 'cuts' would he as follows:

LABOUR- Plight of Railway Construction Casual Labour

February 14, 1981 LABOUR Plight of Railway Construction Casual Labour Timir Basu THE All-India Project and Construction Casual Labour Conference, the first such conference to be organised, at Calcutta on November 14-15, 1980 under the auspices of the All-India Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) brought to the fore the plight of about one lakh workers engaged in various construction jobs of the railways spread all over the country* The railways, the largest employer of casual labour in the country, follows a dual policy in respect of casual Workers with a view to depriving one section of these workers of the benefits provided under the 'Open Line' (OL) system. About two lakh casual labourers in the railways who fall in the OL category have a modicum of security of service in that they are not thrown out of employment frequently, while construction casual workers have no right to work despite having decades of continuous service to their credit.

LABOUR-Wage Scales for Jute Workers

speeches that industrial development could slow down but not welfare of the people and that she would not mind shelving a few projects to divert more funds to the priority sectors. But these verbal gestures do not have any relevance in the performance and plans of her government as they have been taking shape.

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