“The rate of exploitation of jute-mill workers is highest in communist bastion, West Bengal. The exploiters are the jute-mill owners who have total patronage of the state’s Left Front government,” said Shri Baijnath Rai, national secretary of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS). Shri Rai pointed out that the workers in jute-mills do not get even the minimum wages in the state. The mill owners have not yet been paid Rs 225 crore of their provident fund, over Rs 100 crore of Employees State Insurance (ESI) and Rs 300 crore for gratuity. The workers, who retired 10 to 15 years ago, have not yet been paid their gratuity and the government does not take action against any of the mill owners as the Left Party leaders allegedly take money from the mill owners during the elections.
Shri Rai pointed out, “Leftist trade unions in West Bengal agreed to an agreement on January 5 this year, which is a shame in the history of trade unions. Under the agreement the daily wages of the workers have been reduced from Rs 212 to Rs 100.” Five trade unions including the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh have strongly protested against the agreement. He alleged that workers were not allowed to register their protest and were being tortured by the state police.