We are being exploited by our owner

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exploited-Vandana-ShahEmployees of Godrej & Boyce company held peaceful demonstrations outside Palladium Mall at Vikhroli in support of their various demands pertaining to salary hike and other benefits. They protested against the exploitation and injustice meted against them by the organization. Staff members were appealing to passers to support them in this endeavor. They informed them about the terrible working conditions prevalent in the company.

One of the employee of Godrej & Boyce spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “Godrej has been known for providing quality products to the customer at affordable prices. It has won the goodwill of customers through innovation. However the company is not bothered about the employee welfare and is only interested in making profits. The company has made significant progress on account of the efforts of its employees but they are exploiting us.”

They were distributing circular to the pedestrians to support their claim. Employees have mentioned their grievances in the brochure handed over to passersby.

In the leaflet it was printed that Godrej is a 115 year old renowned organization functioning in India. The company is operating in 15 countries and 23 states in India. It is in possession of 3700 acres of land in Vikhroli area in Mumbai. However, the employees working with the organization are denied several benefits by the company.

1. Godrej workers are denied dearness allowance which has been discontinued by the organization.

2. Worker are employed on minimum wages law.

3. The retirement age has been reduced from 60 to 58.

4. The strength of permanent workers of the company is 2900 while 7000 workers are employed on contract basis.

5. Godrej workers do not qualify for even MHADA’s low income group category.

6. The rates at Vikhroli Godrej properties is valued at Rs 13000 sq.ft. However, employees are paid a monthly minimum wages of Rs. 8700 only. They cannot afford to purchase a house in Karjat area

7. The company harasses workers by issuing them legal notices over trivial issues and suspends them.

8. Five workers fighting for their legal rights were dismissed by the company. Twenty eight workers are facing in-house inquiry during 2009 to 2013 period and 205 workers were suspended for 4 days etc.

9. Workers are not paid bonus.

10. Workers are paid minimum wages, but the fees charged by the Godrej school is Rs. 1350.

Employees are afraid to take any legal action against the company as their employment might be terminated by the organization.

Another employee spoke to AV on the condition of anonymity and said, “I appeal to people to come forward and assist us so that justice will be delivered to us.”

Protesting employees had worn Black T-shirt and which contained the message, “Help us to get Justice! Save the workers of Godrej & Boyce”.

When AV tried to contact the management of Godrej & Boyce they remained unavailable for comment.

Vandana Shah