Medical & Sales representatives across the country will go for a nation wide strike on January 19 in protest against not fulfilling their demands by both Central and State
governments. All India Federation of Sales Promotion Employees, FMRAI has notified the strike.
Rahul Purkayastha, the General Secretary of the Centre of Medical & Sales Representatives' Union said that the lives of the MRs were never easy but it became, even more, worse in the last 3 years following the onset of Covid. "Digitalization has hampered the lives of the MRs . In the Digital era, Medical & Sales Representatives are kept under strict vigilance and supervision for all the 24 hours a day as a part of the 'Work from Home" Policy. This has hampered their personal and family lives in many ways", said
Purkayastha, He said that the members, who are working from homes, are being forced to attend digital meetings in any odd hours and the ones who are out in the fields are tracked through their android mobiles.
Purkayastha alleged that the working hours that is the statutory rights of all the workers are being blatantly denied by the employers. It was highlighted that the central government with pro-corporate policies are also helping the employers.
Medical Representatives demand the government to revise the minimum wage at Rs 26000/-month and a 30% rise in the DA and TA
Sales Promotion Employees Act, the specific industry-specific Act for Sales Promotion Employees in being repealed thus denying the workers basic legal rights for the statutory condition of service. In this field, there are companies that are even denying providing work to the workers. The FMRAI has alleged that Illegal transfers, terminations, wage cuts, wage freezes are very common to the Medical & Sales Representatives.
Purkayastha added that in the year 2015, it was declared under the Minimum Wage Act that the minimum wage of an MR must be Rs 12500 but there are still many MRs in the market, who are working on a pay scale below Rs 10000. Their demand to the state government is to revise the minimum wage at Rs 26000 and a 30% rise in the DA and TA.
Another important primary demand for the nationwide strike is to demand with the central government is Zero GST in all medicines and medical devices. There is also a demand over allocation of at least 5% of the GDP to Health. The Medical & Sales Representatives also oppose the online retail network which is currently being favoured by the Central Government.