SPYF serves 10-day ultimatum to govt to raise minimum wage to Rs 15K per month

Sagar Chhetri

Gangtok, 30 Jun:

Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum [SPYF] on Thursday gave an ultimatum to the State government to immediately take out the notification on enhancement of minimum wage for workers to Rs 15,000 per month within 10 days.

The organization also announced today that should this deadline go unheeded, workers will come out on streets across the State in strong protest. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister had announced plans to enhance the monthly minimum wage to Rs 15,000 from the current Rs 9,000 on the occasion of May Day earlier this year.

Addressing a press conference this afternoon, SPYF general secretary Rupen Karki, claimed that workers from across the State were brought to Rangpo to thank the CM for the wage hike but have been left disappointed since the notification to that effect has still not been issued.

The SPYF general secretary added that their organisation has actually been demanding that minimum wage be hiked to at least Rs 700 per day [Rs 21,000 per month] since that was a more scientific figure worked out in keeping with the present rate of inflation.

“We are not begging, and are only demanding a minimum wage as per the present rate of inflation. I urge workers to unite for their rights,” he said.

A "company worker," Damber Rai, who accompanied SPYF to the press briefing today, pointed out that SKM had promised to enhance the minimum wage to Rs 20,000 per month within 100 days of forming the government, and rued that three years since forming the government, the promise is still pending.

He added that even after the CM announced a minimum wage of Rs 15,000 per month on 01 May, no follow-up action has been taken in the two months that have passed since.

“Even after working hard, we got the monthly salary of Rs 9,000 and get only around Rs 5,000 in hand after all the deductions. It is really tough for us to manage and the situation gets worse in case of any medical emergency,” he said.

Another company worker, Chandra Subba, echoed the sentiments and said that a section of the workers had approached the Labour Minister on the matter, and while they received assurances, no notification has been issued yet.