Food and drinks workers’ income affected by demonetisation

Kolkata, Dec 1 (IANS) A slump in consumption resulting from demonetisation of high value currency has impacted earnings of workers who serve in restaurants and bars across cities and many of contractual workers were also laid off, a workers’ union said on Thursday.

“Banning of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes has pulled down the sales of many restaurants and bars across cities. Footfalls have also been down. Our tips income, which are a major part of our monthly earnings, came down drastically in the last three weeks,” said Mahammad Nazim, a worker in a city-based restaurant, on the sidelines of a conference of Indian National Food and Drinks Workers’ Federation (INFDWF).

Likewise, Mahadeb Das, who works in a bar, said: “If the customers pay in cards, our tips income will definitely dip.”

INTUC-backed INFDWF President C.P. Singh said: “We have about 11-11.5 lakh members in India. Salaried workers are not able to get their monthly salary and many workers are not getting jobs in bars and restaurants. Workers who serve in bars and restaurant are not highly paid and a marginal dip could hard them a lot.”

The organisation is not against the move, but the objection was on the way it has been implemented, he said.

“According to estimations, it will take seven months to replace the notes which was taken out of the circulation. Workers will die if the cash crunch prolongs,” said the union’s General Secretary and INTUC’s West Bengal President Ramen Pandey.

He also that sales of the restaurants and bars, on an average, dipped by 50 percent, particularly on weekends and rush days. “As a result, contractual workers are not getting their jobs on weekends and many of them have been laid-off,” he said.

–IANS

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