The laws are for exploitation and there is freedom to exploit beyond the law

Interviews with factory workers in Gurgaon, India, about their conditions and whether they meet legal requirements.

The law: wages for a month of work have to be paid by the 7th to 10th of the subsequent month; the daily working-time is eight hours, the maximum overtime allowed is 50 hours in three month; overtime has to be paid by double rate; the minimum monthly wage defined by the government of Haryana for an unskilled helper-worker is: 2, 484.28 Rs; this is based on an eight hours day and four days off per month; the extra dearness allowance DA (see Gurgaon workers news Glossary) for January 2007 has not been announced yet, this is at the beginning of March 2007; the labour department declares that they have not received any information yet about the speech of the Chief Minister announcing the introduction of a minimum wage of 3,510 Rs.

- Essar Steel Worker:
The factory on plot 10 is located in the Industrial Area, it runs two shifts of 12 hours each. The overtime is paid at single rate. The helpers get 1,950 Rs and the operators between 3,500 and 4,000 Rs. The employer does not give ESI and PF.

- CMI Worker:
The factory on plot 71 is in sector 6. Now, on 17th of Febuary workers might receive the wages for last December. The production is booming, the permanent workers are forced to work 16 hours. The workers hired through contractors are driven to work 36 to 40 hours at a stretch and often fall ill because of that. The overtime payment is at single rate.

- Mahawir Die Casters Worker:
The factory on plot no.153, located in sector 24 runs two 12 hours shifts, 30 days per month. Overtime is paid at single rate. The helpers hired through conractors get 2,000 Rs per month.

- Galaxsy Instruments Worker:
On plot no.2, sector 27 C, the helpers hired through contractors get 2,100 Rs per month. The shift starts at 8 am and finishs at 5:30 pm. Even the permanent workers do not receive overtime payment for the nine and a half hours shift.

- Inotech Engineering Worker:
12/6 Mathura Road, Gurukul. The wage of the casual workers is 2,400 Rs, there is neither ESI and PF. The shift starts at 8 am and finishs at 10:30 pm. Overtime is paid at single rate.

- Dalaal Auto worker:
Plot no.262, sector 25. The factory runs two 12 hours shift, the overtime is paid at single rate.

- JBM Worker:
Plot no.133, sector 24. Less than 10 per cent of the work-force are permanent workers, more than 90 per cent are hired through three different contractors. The 50 to 60 permanent workers work two shifts of 8:30 hours each. In the filing, welding, cleaning, packing department 200 workers work on one shift, from 7:30 am to 9 pm, sometimes till 10 pm or even 1 am. In the press shop 300 people work and in the axle department 150 workers, on two shifts. From 7:30 am to 7 pm or 8 pm to 6 am. There is work on Sundays, too. Overtime is paid at single rate.
JBM supplies Eicher, Maruti, Hero Honda.

- Sangita Industries Worker:
Plot no.55, Industrial Area. The helpers in the factory get 2,150 Rs, but no ESI or PF. Daily working time is 12 hours. Overtime is paid at single rate. Four to five days wages get siphoned off before wages are paid. If you ask them about it they say that the wage office is in the companies factory in sector 24, “so what could we do about it”. Threatening takes place, but whoever keeps on asking again and again will finally receive their money.

- Venus Metal Industries Worker:
Plot 262, sector 24. Out of the 600 workers employed in the factory ten per cent are permanent, ten per cent are casual and eighty per cent are hired through contractors. In the press shop, the paint shop and the tool room they run two shifts. There is only little overtime. In the welding, assembly and packing department there is only one shift, from 8:30 in the morning to 9 in the night. During the twelve and a half hours shift they would not even give you a cup of tea. Overtime is paid at single rate. There is hardly any space in the factory. In the paint shop there is no exhaust fan and there is no space for putting up a fan. The heat of the paint shop enters the press shop, as well. This condition gets worse during summer. There is no canteen and there is no space to make meals. Venus Metal supplies Maruti, Hero Honda and others.

- Shivalik Global Worker:
12/6 Mathura Road. The workers directly employed by the company received their January wage on 21st and 22nd of February. The workers hired through contractors have not received their January wage, and today is the 24th of February.

- High Tech Worker:
20/6 Mathura Road. Out of the 40 workers directly employed by the company about four or five have ESI and PF. The workers hired through six different contractors have no ESI and PF. Whenever an official comes for inspection to the plant they are pushed outside the factory. The helpers get 2,000 Rs per month. Working-time is 12 hours and overtime is paid at single rate. Per month 100 Rs out of 500 Rs wage is siphoned off. When you leave the job they rarely pay your outstanding wages. The contractors push and threaten and tend to delay the wage payment. The January wage has not been given yet, on 19th of February.

- Escorts Worker:
The permanent workers have received the annual statutory bonus (minimum one month wage) in October on Divali, but after half of February has already passed, the casual workers did not receive it. For any little fault casual workers are kicked out the factory. And in order to get hired the casual workers have to give the company officers a bribe of 500 Rs.

- Vaibav Engineering Worker:
Plot no.63, sector 24. There are eight permanents and 120 casual workers in the plant. The wage of the casual helpers is 1,650 Rs, ESI or PF is not covered. There are two shifts, each twelve hours. Overtime is paid at single rate.

- SPL Worker:
Plot no.47-48, sector 6. The workers employed through contractors get 90 to 115 Rs per twelve hours shift. The wages of January have not been paid yet, on 22nd of February.

- Clutch Auto Worker:
12/4 Mathura Road. The 500 casual workers have not received their January wages, on 20th of February 2007.

- Orient Fan Worker:
Plot no.59, sector 6. On 14th of February in the tool room and press shop factory of the company a manager and supervisor together beat up two casual workers.

- Unique Engineering Worker:
20/3 Mathura Road, Northern Complex, plot no. 5/6. The workers have neither ESI nor PF.

From Gurgaon workers news #2, originally in FMS no. 225, March 2007