Our project with Prayas labour centre to organize brick kiln workers in India is well under way, thanks to your generous support and donations. Prayas has been organizing brick kiln workers of Mandal cluster. There are 87 brick kilns in this cluster em …

Walton Pantland

Our project with Prayas labour centre to organize brick kiln workers in India is well under way, thanks to your generous support and donations.

Prayas has been organizing brick kiln workers of Mandal cluster. There are 87 brick kilns in this cluster employing more than 10,000 workers.

There are some local workers and some migrant workers from Masuda area. In addition there are large numbers of interstate migrant workers from the state of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Most of these workers fall in the category of bonded labourers. They are given an advance before they start working and are forced to work till the end of the season. Very few workers come back with any cash. In fact some workers end up with negative balance and have to pay the employers before they can return to their homes.

A Trade Union – Rajasthan Pradesh Int Bhatta Majdoor Union – has been formed and has applied for registration. The Union issued a demand charter demanding wage hikes and improvements in work conditions. The workers began work in the month of September – October. The season is in full swing and chimneys have been fired. It is now proposed to move forward for implementation of demand charter. For this purpose, a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Union has been called for December 14. It is expected that the Union will give the employers a 7 day notice and call for a public meeting on 21st December. If the employers do not respond then workers may decide to go on strike.

It is the first time that the workers in this cluster are demanding their rights. We invite you to participate in the workers’ meeting on December 21st and support workers’ struggle. We will keep you updated on the developments.


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Walton Pantland

South African trade unionist living in Glasgow. Loves whisky, wine, running and the great outdoors. Walton did an MA in Industrial Relations at Ruskin, Oxford, and is interested in how trade unions use new technology to organise.

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