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Four thousand women health workers on the warpath

03 July 2017
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai employs 4000 Women Health Workers but they are treated as Volunteers. The High Court has confirmed before a Tribunal that they should be treated as workers, not volunteers.
The Govt of Maharashtra confirms their employment as municipal workers under the Minimum Wages Act 1948 and requires minimum wages of Rs.12000/- with Special allowance. 
These women workers were previously paid only Rs.5000/-
In 2015 the union filed claims before Labour Commissioner to pay the remaining Rs.7000/. 
The corporation did not respond properly and refused to pay minimum wages prescribed. The claims were ignored for about a year.
The Labour Commissioner did not take any action and kept the claims pending. 
There was unrest amongst the women workers and the union organized a protest against the inaction of the Labour Commissioner.
Over 2000 women workers gathered in front of the Labour Commissioner's office. 
The Labour Commissioner called for discussion, following which these decisions were taken:
  1. All claims for the minimum wage for women health workers will be decided in the month of July 2017, their wages will be around twelve thousand. They will also get arrears and penalty payments up to ten times of the claims.
  2. A prosecution will be launched against the Officers of the BMC who are committing breaches of labour laws.
  3. All women health workers who have been dismissed for remaining absent during the maternity related issues will be given relief.

This was great success for the union.

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