21 Dec 2016 Ferado

Azerbaijan oil company SOCAR lambasted over safety record

AZERBAIJAN: SOCAR recorded 14 deaths in 2014, 34 in 2015 and 11 so far in 2016, the website says. The biggest fatality events for the company were in December 2015 when 30 were killed in a fire and lifeboat sinking on the Gunlashi No 10 platform in the Caspian Sea, with a further 10 presumed dead after a walkway on an offshore platform collapsed into the sea during storms a few days ago.

Oil and Gas People contrasted SOCAR, which employed over 61,000 employees in 2014 (and only a fraction of this figure offshore), with the UK Oil Industry, which employed around 260,000 people in 2014 and has seen 2 worker deaths from 2014 to 2016.

It pointed to the fact that in the recent incident, workers were lost when working outside in 90 mph winds, a practice that would not be acceptable anywhere in the North Sea. Also, the company’s reports on these incidents giving the cause as “high winds” or “adverse weather” seem to imply that offshore installations are not designed to withstand such conditions.

“The figures are damning and the timeline shows a repeat of similar incidents that can only question the integrity of previous investigations and whether any lessons learned have been deployed throughout the organisation to prevent further fatalities.

“With oil and gas industry workers giving first hand reports of poor safety standards, inadequate maintenance and substandard conditions aboard SOCAR installations it’s no surprise that incidents like those listed above are a frequent occurrence to the organisation”, the website says

20 Dec 2016 Ferado

Turkey: 450km Walk for Justice

TURKEY: Thousands of workers have been dismissed and journalists imprisoned during the purge. The KESK walk, starting tomorrow from Istanbul to Ankara, is being held under the slogan “I want my job and my bread”.

On 14 October, the ITUC and ETUC, together with their four Turkish affiliates DISK, Hak-Is, KESK and Türk-Is, issued a joint statement reiterating their condemnation of the coup attempt and expressing concern at the massive wave of dismissals of workers, particularly public employees, by the Turkish government, in most cases without any basis of proof or evidence, or compliance with the rule of law.

20 Dec 2016 Ferado

50 former bonded labourer families resettled

Kailali (NEPAL), Dec 20: As many as 50 freed ‘bonded labourer’ households have been resettled in the district after they were declared freed 16 years back.

The government had provided Rs 355,000 to each family for purchasing land and constructing houses for their resettlement, said District Land Reforms office chief Laxman Bahadur Kathayat.

He further shared that about 7,500 such families were already resettled in the district out of the 8,910 families officially recorded as freed bonded laboures in the district.

The land reform office, Kailali has stated that about Rs 370 million was released to resettle the 1,300 freed bonded labouer families in this year in the district.

20 Dec 2016 Ferado

Wage-based employees on hunger strike

Lumbini, Dec 20: The wage and contract-based employees at the Lumbini Development Trust have launched fast-unto-death to protest the management’s apathy towards their demands.

Armed with a five-point demand, the contract employees have set up tents in front of the Trust’s office as the venue for the strike.

Among the demands put forth by the employees include expulsion of Trust Member Secretary, Ajitman Tamang, immediate availability the wages of three month and 15 days – the time during which the contract employees had been on agitation, availability of wages of the months of Asoj, Kartik and Mangsir (mid September to mid December) and promotion of all the neglected employees and other facilities.

The employees have also demanded an end to irregularity and corruption dogging the Trust and legal action against those involved in corruption. They have also called for putting an end to discriminative action against the employees.

20 Dec 2016 Ferado

Bonanza for Central government employees: 7th Pay Commission recommendations rolled out

New Delhi: The government had in January 2016 had set up the high-powered panel to process the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission which will have bearing on the remuneration of nearly 50 lakh central government employees and 58 lakh pensioners.

The Union Cabinet on June 29 cleared the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission headed by AK Mathur in respect of the hike in basic pay and pension. However, the decision on 7th Pay Commission suggestions relating to allowances had been referred to a Committee headed by the Finance Secretary.

The Committee will complete its work in a time bound manner and submit its reports within a period of 4 months. Till a final decision, all existing allowances will continue to be paid at the existing rates.

The 7th Pay Commission examined a total of 196 existing allowances and, by way of rationalization, recommended abolition of 51 allowances and subsuming of 37 allowances. Given the significant changes in the existing provisions for allowances which may have wide ranging implications, the Cabinet decided to constitute a Committee headed by Finance Secretary for further examination of the recommendations of 7th CPC on allowances.

On 29 June 2016, Government accepted the recommendation of 7th Pay Commission Report with meager increase in salary of 14 percent after six month of intense evaluation and successive discussions. The Finance Minister of India claimed it historical increase of salaries due to little knowledge of Sixth Pay Commission.

The new scales of pay provide for entry-level basic are now up from Rs 7,000 per month to Rs 18,000, while at the highest level i.e. Secretary, it would go up from Rs 90,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh. For Class 1 officers, the starting salary will be Rs 56,100.

The recommendations will benefit over 1 crore employees. This includes over 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, of which 14 lakh employees and 18 lakh pensioners are from the defence forces.
Here are the Key Highlights

Gratuity ceiling doubled to Rs 20 lakh
Housing loan allowance hiked from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh
Minimum pension increased from Rs 3,500 to Rs 9,000
7th Pay Commission recommendations to be implemented within 6 months from due date
Existing rates of monthly contribution towards Group Insurance to continue
Total annual burden of pay, pensions and arrears of 7th Pay Commission recommendations: Rs 1, 02,100 crore
7th Pay Commission recommendations on allowances to be referred to a Committee headed by Secretary
Based on minimum pay, fitment factor of 2.57 approved for revising pay of all employees uniformly across all level
Minimum pay fixed at Rs 18,000 per month; maximum pay at Rs 2.25 lakh
The Cabinet approval will benefit nearly 50 lakh central government employees and 58 lakh pensioners
Pay hike to be implemented from January 1, 2016
Budgetary allocation

While the Budget for 2016-17 fiscal did not provide an explicit provision for implementation of the 7th Pay Commission, the government had said the once-in-a-decade pay hike for government employees has been built in as interim allocation for different ministries. Around Rs 70,000 crore has been provisioned for it.