Bleak Diwali for thousands of diamond workers in Surat as diamantaires skip bonus payment



Diamond workers Diwali
Surat : The majority of diamond workers in Surat, the largest diamond-cutting and polishing center in the world, are not celebrating a “Happy Diwali.” The majority of small and medium-sized diamond companies have not paid Diwali bonuses to their employees, making the celebrations gloomy for tens of thousands of diamond cutters. Only the largest diamond companies with annual revenues exceeding Rs 500 crore have paid Diwali bonuses to their employees.

This was revealed in the pre-Diwali survey conducted by the Diamond Workers’ Union Gujarat (DWUG). The members of DWUG stated the majority of diamond workers in Surat are not celebrating a Happy Diwali as their employers have skipped paying Diwali bonuses. The organization filed complaints against 25 diamond companies for the blatant violation of the Labour Laws with the Labour and Factory department.

Ramesh Jilariya, president of DWUG told TBT, “Diamond workers employed in the diamond factories for over 5 years are eligible for Gratuity benefits under the Labour Laws. The  union has filed complaints against about six diamond companies blatantly violating the law by not paying Gratuity to the workers”

“Few days ahead of the Diwali festival, about 450 diamond workers from two diamond companies strike work with the demand for wage hike. The DWUG intervened and the diamond company owners agreed to the wage hike for the workers” added Jilariya

Bhavesh Tank, vice-president of DWUG said, “Despite the increase in polished diamond exports and improved demand in the international market, the diamond companies are squeezing the diamond workers with heavy workloads and violating the Labour Laws. The workers are made to work for more than 12 hours a day two months ahead of the Diwali festival and they are not paid Diwali bonuses”