Friday, June 5, 2009

INDIANOIL-contract labour

In 1970, when I joined Indianoil, there was one DGM, one GM, one Executive Director and one chairman. Branch managers were in E grade, while departmental heads were in D grade and all product managers and District managers were in C grade. These positions have multiplied geometrically. Now there are hundreds of GMs, DGMs and EDs doing the same work that C to F grade officers did in seventies.

On the other hand, each location had a corporation owned car, a driver, who was a regular employee, peons, sweepers and watchmen were also regular employees. In addition there were ALCPs who did most of the hard work in locations and were paid daily wages and were officially engaged only for twenty days a month. Their daily wages were 1/30th of minimum salary of a lowest grade workman. Guesthouses also had regular employees as cooks and attendents.

Sometime in eightys most of the peons, drivers, and watchmen were redesignated and sent to terminals or depots as Jr operators or operaters depending on their scale of pay, age and health profile. The old continued and retired subsequently. Cars were sold off. Cars were hired from travel agencies on tender basis. Contractors, who were ex army officers, provided watchmen. Most of the watchmen were ex army jawans.
Similarly, housekeeping contract took care of sweeper, attendant requirements. Official estimates were prepared based on number of persons a contractor would engage and pay wages based on minimum wages act. These measures drastically reduced the expenses of the corporation.

The contractor’s work force is not in the organised sector. They are paid according to the minimum wages act of respective state. No family of even three members can manage food, shelter, clothing and schooling within the amount paid under minimum wages act. This is one part. The second part is exploitation of these workers by regular emploees of the corporation. These ill paid workers work for more than twelve hours a day. The unionised regular workers exploit them the most. They make these workers do some work of their’s as well.
This has happened in all PSUs, MNCs and high profit earning IT companies. While regular employees get high salaries, these workmen of the contractors are ill paid and overworked.
This is the present day slavery—economic slavery.

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