Diamond workers protest over wage hike

Surat : Hundreds of diamond workers in the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat took to the streets demanding wage hike. The workers alleged that the owners of the diamond units have cut their wages due to Covid pandemic and that they are facing the onslaught of the rising prices of milk, petrol and diesel.

Sources said the diamond workers from the Millennium diamond market located at Heera Baug in the diamond hub of Varachha took to the streets demanding wage hike. The workers are employed with Meera Gems, a diamond company located in Heera Baug.

According to the information gathered by TBT, over 1,000 diamond workers gheraoed the diamond company and chanted slogans against its owners, demanding wage hike. Workers stated that they were not paid the wages for the lockdown period when the factory was shut, leaving their families to suffer during the trying times.

Prices of all essential commodities including petrol, diesel, vegetables, milk have gone up in the last few months.  Inflation has increased the burden of household expenses. However, there was a long pending demand of the diamond workers to increase their wages.
Talking with TBT, vice-president of  Diamond Workers Union, Bhavesh Tank said, “Despite coronavirus pandemic in the country and across the world, the demand for diamonds was overwhelming. The diamantaires should have increased the wages of the workers, but they failed. Still, a huge section of workers are facing huge pay cuts”
Nanu Vekaria, president of the Surat Diamond Association (SDA) said, “There was a problem in the factory.  The condition of workers is good in most of the diamond factories”