Farmers, labourers not happy with compensation

As the cheques were distributed to the farmers of defunct Brahmavar Sugar factory, dissatisfaction amongst the labourers still prevailed and they seemed to be unhappy over the compensation packages that were offered to them.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, former Brahmavar Sugar Factory Labour Union president Richard Mascarenhas said that the Congress government is into vote bank politics. The amount offered is not at all justifiable and cannot be counted as compensation. 

“I have not accepted the cheque. The company has to pay huge amount of pending debt. The amount that is promised now is meager.” He questioned that how can the pending arrears can be termed as compensation package. He said he has worked for 15 years from 1991 to 2006. The company owes him nearly Rs 1.80 lakh. Sheena Poojary said that the government is yet to give closure compensation and arrears. 

The cheque comprises of salary with nine per cent  interest rate, holiday incentives and gratuity as per the Cooperative Act. The farmers are benefited as their amount is fully paid. However, the labourers are in a disadvantageous position. The labourers are deprived from the amount they are genuinely eligible. “We have not taken the petition back from the High Court. The government is liable to follow the High Court and Labour Court orders,” he added. 

A total of Rs 1.98 crore was distributed among 3,200 farmers for the amount pending for the supply of sugarcane for the year 2002-03 and 2003-04. As many as 215 labourers received amount of Rs 6.51 crore as compensation package since 2003-2006 — the year the factory stopped functioning.

Labourer Subba Billava said that he was happy for not the amount that he has received, but for the response he got for the long struggle. He said that if the fight was not taken up, the government would have least bothered to compensate the farmers and labourers.The government has not fully paid the labourers.

Another labourer Satyanarayana Shetty said the government at any cost has to pay the closure compensation and arrears. It is the question of life and death for the labourers. They should go in search of new source of livelihood and there is no question of any other support that will be lent to the labourers from the company, henceforth. This is the only package that is available. “It is our right and the fight will continue until the government concedes to our demand and pays all pending amount,” he replied.

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