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Posted at: Jun 14, 2018, 1:15 AM; last updated: Jun 14, 2018, 1:15 AM (IST)

Labourers seek advance money, bonus from farmers

Workers dictate terms as paddy season about to start
Labourers seek advance money, bonus from farmers
Migrant labourers reach Ludhiana railway station before beginning of the paddy season in state on Wednesday. Photo: Ashwani Dhiman.

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13

With paddy sowing season beginning from June 20 in the state, the migrant workers have started arriving in the city. Gone are the days when workers would accept the terms and conditions of the farmers because now they are dictating their own terms and conditions to the farmers. Apart from asking for the wages during the period of paddy plantation, they are also asking for bonus which includes ration, TV and films for the time period they will be staying here.

Many workers who were coming to Punjab from Bihar and UP for paddy and wheat sowing have now become full time labour contractors. These contractors have formed a group of 50 to100 labourers and the commission of these contractors is fixed whenever farmers hire labourers from them.

Farmers who can no longer work in the fields by themselves and do not have local workforce are now completely dependent upon the migrant workers and left with no other option but to agree to their wishes.

He further said not only this, labour now wants 25 per cent advance payment which has to be deposited in their bank accounts. Apart from the payment they are also demanding the gifts such as TV, films and ration for the time period they will be staying and money for no -working days too. Now, they have understood the fact that farmers are dependent upon them and hence are exploiting the situation to their best.

Many farmers were also seen at the Ludhiana Railway Station during the early morning to pick labourers for paddy plantation.

Sukhwinder Singh, a farmer from village Lalton Kalan said, he went to the railway station in the morning but was unsuccessful in hiring the labour.

“Some of the labour said they had been booked already, while others said they will only be booked through contractors. Under these circumstances it has become really difficult to arrange labour as the sowing period is approaching near,” he said.

Another farmer, Jeevan Singh from village Dhandra said he had hired the labour at Rs25,00 per acre through a contractor and apart from giving them the cost of food and shelter he would also be giving them compensation for non-working days.

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