Surat diamond industry gets active labour union
Diamantaires in the world’s largest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat (Gujarat) are apprehensive because they know a labour union is going to become a reality in the industry soon.
Diamond Workers’ Union (DWU), registered with labour department in Gujarat, has begun to enroll diamond workers as members in a five-month long drive that began here on 5th April, 2019.
DWU president Ranmal Jilariya told, “Since its inception, diamond industry in Gujarat does not have a labour union to address the issues of workers. Though our union was registered in 2013, it became active in the last one year following the multi-crore bank loan scam and job losses in the industry. The union will be the voice of diamond workers facing problems related to their jobs in the industry. In the last one-and-a-half year, the industry has witnessed job losses, heavy reduction in diamond production, issues of labour laws, wage cuts etc”
Diamond industry analyst Aniruddha Lidbide said, “We have seen labour unrest in special economic zone in Mumbai. Many units had shut down due to union problems. If the one in Surat wants to protect the rights of diamond workers then it is good, otherwise the situation will be same as in Maharashtra.”
There are more than 5,000 diamond units in the city employing 5.5 lakh diamond workers.
An office-bearer of Surat Diamond Association (SDA) said, “The labour unions had caused immense problems for diamond and jewellery units in Maharashtra. Labour unrest could become a reality in Surat too because of the union.”