| Medical and sales representatives during the rally on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Dec. 4: Over 400 medical representatives and sales representatives of other companies today took to the streets demanding that Delhi and Dispur implement the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976, to guarantee their jobs.
They also demanded that the Centre declare statutory rules for sales promotion employees at the earliest.
The rally was organised by the Kamrup (metro) district committee of the Centre of Medical and Sales Representatives’ Union.
Commencing at Panbazar, they marched ahead, shouting slogans all the way till they reached the office of the Kamrup (metro) district administration. Here they handed over a memorandum stating their various demands before the deputy commissioner.
The rally was organised in response to the call for a daylong strike of sales promotion representatives across the country by the Federation of Medical and Sales Representatives’ Association of India today.
Members of the sales representatives’ union claimed that though the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act came into being in 1976, it was never implemented properly either by the Centre or the state government. The representatives have been deprived of job security as most of them have not received appointment letters at the time of recruitment.
“We have been fighting for our rights for years demanding the implementation of the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976, but till date we have failed to get any kind of response. Many companies employing sales promotion employees do not provide them with appointment letters. Since there is no proof of employment as such, the companies also terminate their services without warning. They are left with no source of steady income,” said Arabinda Guha, a union member.
“Some representatives are paid as little as Rs 5,000 per month, which is not sufficient to meet the basic necessities today. Under the Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, it is mandatory for the companies employing them to provide them with appointment letters. We also demand a minimum wage of Rs 10,000 for them along with other entitlements like earned leave and medical benefits. We also want the Centre to declare statutory rules for such employees,” said Pranjit Kar, president of the union.
“We submitted a memorandum addressing the Prime Minister on November 27. Today, we submitted a similar memorandum to the district administration,” added Kar.
They also demanded that female sales employees be provided with fixed maternity leaves and that the state government formulates legal working rights especially for medical representatives to work in government and private hospitals and clinics in the state.
They also demanded that the government take measures to control the increasing price of medicines.