A meeting of the Brick Kiln Workers Union was held at Masooda village in Ajmer district on 26th September, 12. The meeting was attended by around 60 workers from nearby villages. Masooda is a source cluster that sends out workers for brick carriage work (bharai/nikasi) all over Rajasthan. It is the epicenter of Union formation. The brick molders (pathera), the other major category of workers, are from other states – Jharkhand and UP.
The meeting was also attended by a delegation from International Labor Organisation that wanted to visit a source area and understand union formation process at grass root level.
Some of the workers quote from the meeting
‘The main issue is that we do not get the full value of labor. This results in our exploitation.’
‘Firstly, we want to hike our wages. Secondly we want the labor laws to be followed at brick kilns’
On being asked the reason as to why they are forming a Union
The advance provides us with some security of payment, as our wages are settled only at the end of the working season.
On being asked as to why they take an advance before going for work.
The Union registration process has begun. The workers have elected an Executive. The name has been finalised as Rajasthan Pradesh Int Bhatta Majdoor Union (Rajasthan State Brick Kiln Workers’ Union). In the meeting, the workers decided their strategy. It was decided to have a big meeting of all the workers on 5th January 13 at Haripura, the centre of production in District Bhilwara. A Prayas mobilization team will now visit the source area of Jharkhand. Prayas has also initiated steps for opening of a residential hostel for children of brick kiln workers at Masooda and schools at brick kilns in Bhilwara. It has written and received satisfactory responses from the nodal State level body that is charged with schooling of children – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Universal Education Campaign).
The meeting of workers at Masooda on 26th September
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