ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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LABOUR-Bonus Movement in West Bengal

Bonus Movement in West Bengal Biren Roy WEST BENGAL has a long tradition of bonus movements in autumn, that is on the eve of the Puja and Id festivals. Especially since 1953, there have been big and united movements by all sections of trade unions including the INTUC. The trade unions have always claimed the bonus as 'deferred wages'. The Bonus Act of 1065 provided for the payment of a minimum bonus of 4 per cent as obligatory on the part of employers, irrespective of loss or profit. Later on, the Bonus Review Committee, ac- ted the concept of bonus as 'defer- rence wages' in respect of the minimum bonus. During the early seventies, the movement acquired a wider sweep, spreading to different parts of India. The government of India by an ordinance raised the quantum of minimum bonus to 8.33 per cent in 1972, though the ceiling of 20 per cent remained unchanged. For some years past, payment of bonus had become customary in most industries in West Bengal. The Bonus Act of 1975 did away with all the gains achieved by workers through long years of struggle. It linked bonus to productivity and profits. It did away with the provision lor payment of a minimum bonus, irrespective of loss or profit. It provided for the payment of bonus on the basis of the 'allocable surplus' in such a way that workers were virtual- deprived of their right to bonus.

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