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Goa Dairy workers go on dharna demanding seventh pay scales

Ponda: Workers of Goa Dairy (Goa Milk Cooperative Union Pvt Ltd) launched a three-day dharna outside the Dairy premises at Curti on Thursday demanding implementation of seventh pay commission and payment of arrears of dearness allowance with immediate effect. They have also threatened to go on a strike of 72 hours from January 28, that would affect production and supply.

“Workers had sent several notices to the management regarding the implementation of seventh pay commission, but the management has not replied even to a single letter. Considering it, the workers have decided to stage the dharna for three days,” said Puti Gaonkar, leader of Dairy workers union.

Gaonkar further said that “even though Goa Dairy is a cooperative milk society, it is a part of government body as it was only transformed into a cooperative by separating it from government department. During the separation, government had assured Dairy workers of providing all facilities on par with government servants and likewise workers have benefited with salary as per sixth pay commission of the government. Considering it, the management should also implement the seventh pay scales as early as possible for all the workers of the Dairy.”

Along with that, payment of arrears of dearness allowance from the year 2016 and implementation of MACP scheme should be done with immediate effect, stated Dairy workers.

When asked about the viability of implementing the seventh pay commission by Goa Dairy, which is running into losses, Gaonkar said that viability is not an issue as the Goa Dairy is running in profit through its business.

“There is an artificial loss caused by some directors. After appointing administrator, the Dairy has made a lot of profit and has recovered its earlier losses,” he claimed.

“If the Goa Dairy management fails to fulfil the demands, all workers will go on a strike of 72 hours from January 28 and responsibility for the losses incurred by the Dairy during that period will be of the management,” stated dairy workers.

Reacting to the dharna, managing director of Goa Dairy Raghunath Dhuri stated that the management is assessing the financial position of the Dairy and, accordingly, a decision on implementation of seventh pay commission and other demands of the workers will be taken. “The management is positive regarding the implementation of seventh pay commission for the all staff of the Goa Dairy,” he said.

“Goa Dairy has staff of around 309 in total and seventh pay commission will put extra burden of crores of rupees. So also release of arrears, hence, financial assessment is necessary,” Dhuri stated. [NT]

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