CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday announced substantial wage hike for the striking workers of sugar mills and expressed confidence that they would give up their agitation and return to their work immediately. (The workers of the cooperative and public sector sugar mills were on indefinite strike since April 4 demanding wage hike.)
Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly, the CM said she had announced hike in wages without affecting the cases pending in this regard in the court.
She said 10 per cent pending amount which were not paid to the workers as per the SISMA agreement, would be paid immediately. The CM said taking into account the 10 per cent of pending amount, 25 per cent of the total basic pay would be given to workers as special pay with effect from April 1. With the enhanced wages, the workers would get a salary hike ranging from `1,595 to `1,907. Since the arrears from 2008 would be paid in one go in cash, the public sector sugar mills would incur an expenditure of `2.80 crore. Due to the payment of 25 per cent special pay, the mills would bear an additional expenditure of
`12.46 crore per annum.
Observing that a formal wage agreement could not be entered into since the matter was sub-judice, she said the government had considered the demands and announced the hike. She said the workers’ stir continued despite several rounds of talks held by the Sugar Commissioner and the Labour Department Joint Commissioner.