Workers denied minimum wage

Published On: March 17, 2019 08:55 AM NPT By: MAHESHWAR CHAMLING RAI

UDAYPUR, March 17: Even after 10 months of the government’s assurance, security personnel of Udaypur Cement Industries Ltd based at Jaljale, Udayapur, have not received their minimum wage. 

In the beginning of the current Fiscal Year 2018/19, the government had fixed a minimum monthly wage of Rs 17,502 for daily laborers, temporary workers, and contract workers. 

However, security guards have complained that they have not been provided the minimum amount. According to them, lack of timely coordination between the cement industry and G4S Nepal (the supplier of security guards to the industry) is the reason for the non-payment their wages. 

Yuvraj Karki, a security guard at Udaypur Cement Industries Ltd, said that the industry, upon their request to ensure basic wage, has pressed G4S Nepal to make the payment. However, the company has ignored the matter. Currently, G4S has deployed 65 security guards at the industry. 

Karki said that he has not received the minimum wage. “Excluding insurance, providence fund, and personal investment, I am supposed to be paid Rs 13,450 per month,” Karki said, adding, “But I only get a total of Rs 12,000.”

Security Chief Surendra Magar said that the new wage scale was to be implemented from July last year. However, 10 months on, he is still paid as per the old scale. 

“We have still not received the minimum fixed wage,” Magar said. “However, there is still no result even after communication between the cement industry and the security company.” 

According to Magar, the industry and the security company had reached an agreement about the minimum wage in January, but no official contract was signed.

Acting General Manager of Udaypur Cement, Nawalkishor Shah, said that the decision to fulfill the minimum wage requirement had already been finalized by a board meeting of the industry. 

“The amount for minimum wage is being given to the security company, who is to pay the guards,” Shah said, adding that he was unaware of how the company was paying the workers.

As per the amount fixed by the government, the 65 workers are to be provided a total annual payment of Rs 14.6 million, including Dashain bonus. Five percent of this total amount should be deposited by the security company to the industry as guarantee. Udaypur Cement Industries Ltd says that they haven’t received this deposit.

G4S has accepted that security guards have not received the minimum wage. When Republica contacted company operator Jayandra Basnet, he accepted that workers had not received the basic salaries. When questioned further, Basnet’s response was: “Whatever you have heard is true. Report accordingly.”

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