Workers of Diamond industry in Surat demand rise in wages

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Surat, July 2 : Hundreds of workers engaged in cutting and polishing of diamonds in Surat took to streets and pelted stones on diamond factories as their wages were not raised as announced by the Diamond Association of Surat.

Workers claimed that their salaries were not raised since last twelve years.

Diamond Association of Surat and workers association mutually decided 20 per cent increase in salaries of diamond workers. However, few diamond factories in the city refused to implement the decision.

"From a long time workers engaged in cutting and polishing of diamonds were getting less wages and talks were on to increase their salaries. Few factories here did not pay heed to it and haven't raised the salaries. So, workers have got upset due to this and have announced that they would go on strike," said Babu Jirawala, president, Diamond Workers Association.

However, President of the Diamond Association of Surat, C P Vanani, assured that a solution will be figured out after talking to the heads of the factories who have refused to raise the salaries.

"We have assured them that we will sit and talk to heads of the factories who have refused to increase the wages and will surely figure out a solution. But it's my request to all the workers that they should not pelt stones on any diamond factory and should not get involved in any kind of argument with the factory heads," Vanani said.

Out of the total export of rupees 80, 000 crores from India, the cut and polished diamonds from Surat account for rupees 45,000 crores.

The diamond industry in Surat is related to the employment of over 700,000 people from across the country. Besides, another 25,00,000 people are associated to the diamond trade, directly or indirectly.

India's overseas sales of gems and jewellery represent the country's second-largest export industry, after computer software, and the trade relies heavily on Surat for a major chunk of its diamonds.

Surat contributes a major chunk of the 60 per cent of the world's polished diamond market.

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