KOLKATA: Employees of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) held a day-long sit-in at the corporation's office here on Tuesday demanding hike in wages of its category III and IV employees which they claimed was pending since January 1 last year.
Besides Kolkata, the sit-ins were also held in four other zonal offices of the FCI.
In a statement issued by Bharatiya Khadya Nigam Karmachari Sangh zonal secretary (East) Tapan Ghatak, the union submitted the proposal for revision of wage revision to FCI management in New Delhi on January 30 and held talks with FCI Chairman-cum-Managing Director and joint secretary of the Department of Public Enterprise requesting to allow wage negotiations but the request was not granted.
"The Ministry of Food and Department of Public Enterprise cites one affordability clause inserted in the DPE circular dated November 24, 2017 at page 2 (i) as the main reason for not allowing FCI to have wage revision for its employee," the statement added.
The affordability clause of the PSUs state that the pay revisions are subjected to profits and losses. The union stated that the FCI authorities claimed that the corporation was not making any profit to implement pay revision.
"The union has drawn attention to the guidelines issued by the same DPE on August 3 and 4, 2017 which exempt PSUs like FCI, formed as per the Act of the Parliament, stating that these are not linked to profits from the open market in a competitive scenario. In fact, due to this very reason FCI, which was created to fulfill the objectives of the government's food policy, was always exempted from the aforesaid clause of DPE during all its revisions since 1983," the statement added.
However, wages of category I and II employees of FCI have been revised, sources in the union claimed. The union stated that its agitation will affect the PDS and other operations across the country and it will hold strike on July 12 and 13.