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Low wages compel   Surat diamond workers to quit

 ( ANI): The diamond industry in Surat is facing a shortage of workers as they are quitting jobs due to low wages.

As the COVID cases are decreasing across the world the diamond industry is booming again. Diamond Workers Union says that there is a high demand for polished diamonds in the international market due to which the export of polished diamonds and jewelery has increased. But diamond workers in Surat have not benefited from this.

The union says the diamond merchants are reluctant to increase the salaries of workers despite the increase in work.

The Diamond Workers Union has alleged that wages during the lockdown have not been paid leading to a 20 per cent shortage of artisans in the industry. Many workers went home due to non-payment of salary in the lockdown.

Speaking to ANI, Diamond Workers Union Vice President Bhavesh Tank said, "At least 20 per cent diamond workers from Surat quit jobs due to low salaries. Despite the high demand for polished diamonds in the international market, workers' demand for salary hikes has been overlooked. There is a shortage of over 1,25,000 workers."

"The diamond industry has boomed in 2020-21. This should have led to an increase in workers' salaries, but it did not happen. Diamond merchants are saying that raising salaries will cost them too much, but it is not true," added Tank.

Dinesh Navadia, President, Gems and Jewelry Export Council Gujarat Region said issues arise due to differences in payments to skilled and unskilled workers.

"There is pay parity between skilled and unskilled workers. The skilled workers are paid per piece basis while the unskilled workers generally have fixed salaries. However, if there is any issue regarding the wages in any factory then the owner and the workers should resolve the matter with a positive attitude," Navadia told ANI.