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HMS opposes Somasundara Mills' VRS package

G. Gurumurthy

COIMBATORE, May 23

THE Hind Mazdoor Sabha-affiliated Coimbatore District Textile Workers' Union (CDTWU) has opposed the changes introduced in the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for the workers of the Somasundara Mills owned by the NTC's Tamil Nadu subsidiary.

Even as the NTC subsidiary has extended the deadline for VRS to May 31 from the originally fixed time limit of May 16, the HMS' trade union affiliate has dashed off a letter to the NTC's holding company in Delhi saying that the modified VRS announced by the Somasundara Mills' management effecting changes in the mode of calculating the ex-gratia payment to the VRS optees was `patently' wrong and against the established law.

It has also called upon the NTC authorities to restore the original VRS scheme as introduced earlier.

CDTWU said that it had been a well established practice that for the purpose of calculating ex-gratia payment under the VRS, the number of days in a month taken to arrive at the wages earned by a worker is reckoned as 26 days and not as 30 days because the four weekly holidays when the worker would not be expected to attend to work were to be allowed.

The monthly wages paid to him had, therefore, to be for 26 days work and the daily wage to be calculated could be arrived at by dividing the monthly wage by 26 days and not 30 days.

The modified VRS package announced by the NTC management to the Somasundara Mills' workers has sought to calculate the number of days as 30 for the payment of ex-gratia.

The union further claimed that most of the private textile mills in the region adopted the 26-day month for calculating the daily wage/salary of the mill worker and the same formula was being adopted by the industrial tribunals, wage boards etc.

Whenever wage deductions for a worker on account of determining loss of pay is to be effected, the daily wage is arrived at by taking the number of days in a month as 26 days.

In fact, the NTC Tamil Nadu subsidiary, which introduced VRS in other units owned by it some time ago, had worked out the VRS compensation on the basis of 26-day month only, it said.

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