Mangalore, Sep 12, 2014: Addressing a press conference here, South Canara- Udupi District Beedi Contractors’ Union Working President Mohammed Rafeeq stated that beedi companies didn’t respond to the demand of beedi contractors to increase the commission from Rs 10.60 to Rs 15.60 per thousand beedies, consequently contractors have suspended work as a mark of protest from September 5.
Rafeeq also said that usually when beedi workers get increment in their incentives, there will be increase in commission of contractors. However, this year the incentives of beedi workers has been increased to Rs 21.15 per thousand beedies. It means they are getting Rs 150.88 for thousand beedis. According to it, contractors demanded to increase the commission by 3.5 pc (Rs 5). But both the meetings with beedi company owners, on September 4 and 8 were failures. “Now, we have decided to continue our protest by stopping our work until our demand gets fulfilled,” he said. He stressed that their protest won’t affect poor beedi workers.
“Contractors won’t let them down. We are ready to give money in advance. Moreover, we believe that we will get justice at the earliest. However, it is true that beedi industry is towards downfall. The number of beedi labourers is decreased from four lakh to 1.70 lakh in undivided DK district. The number of contractors is decreased from 3,000 to around 2,600. Production of beedi is also decreasing. If it continues the industry may collapse by 2020,” he said. Forum Honourary President M Sureshchandra Shetty, President S Aliabba, General Secretary V K Shareef and others were present.