Workers of Bengaluru bakery on strike over pay delays

Workers of iconic Bengaluru bakery on indefinite strike over pay delays, PF default

Employees said that they did not take a break during the pandemic, despite the risk to their families

Workers at the iconic VB Bakery in VV Puram have launched an indefinite strike, accusing the management of delaying their salaries. 

The employees’ union has also accused the bakery management of failing to deposit their provident fund. “They’ve been deducting PF right from the beginning but have failed to deposit the money in our accounts for nearly 12 years. Now many of our PF accounts have been blocked,” said Rajesh KM, leader of the VB Bakery staff and workers’ union. 

Another worker said their salaries had not been hiked for four years. “They pay our salaries in instalments over the month. There has been a rise in the prices of all essential commodities. In such a situation, how can we run a family with no increase in salary and irregular payment,” said an employee working at the bakery for the past 25 years. 

Workers also said employees who retired did not get any settlement. “Over 30 of them (who retired) worked there for more than 35 years. None of them received gratuity or other settlements. A few employees that the management terminated recently also didn’t get compensation. We work for years and expect peaceful retirement and recognition of service. None of us is assured of that,” said a third employee. 

Employees said that they did not take a break during the pandemic, despite the risk to their families.

“The least we expect is regular payment and basic facilities,” they said. 

Supporting the strike, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has asked the bakery management to immediately act. “We have been receiving such complaints for nearly eight years. We tried coming up with solutions. Though a few of the solutions worked for a short while, the problem would persist,” said AITUC State General Secretary Vijay Bhaskar D A.

The bakery’s managing director did not respond to phone calls from DH for comment. 

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