Cane labourers in Maharashtra called off their indefinite strike after they were assured a 14% hike in wages at a meeting held at the Vasantdada Sugar Institute (VSI) in Pune in the presence of NCP leader and VSI chairman Sharad Pawar.
“A meeting with outfits of sugarcane workers and sugarcane transporters over the various demands took place and a decision to increase wages by 14% has been taken,” Pawar tweeted after the meeting. Pawar informed that, as per the decision, a three-year contract will be made with sugar factories regarding the wage hike. Around six cane worker organizations attended the meeting. Sugarcane workers will now receive wages of Rs 273.54 per tonne as compared to Rs 239 per tonne earlier. Similarly, the contractors will get a hike in commission from 18.5% to 19% of the worker’s total wages for the season. Representatives of sugarcane workers, transporters, Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation functionaries took part in the meeting. Jayprakash Dandegaonkar, chairperson of Maharashtra State Co-operative Sugar Factories Federation said the 14% wage hike would entail an outflow of Rs 300-350 crore for sugar factories.