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10,000 Workers Lose Their Jobs As Diamond Production Declines By 21%

Roughly 10,000 diamond employees have lost their jobs in the last few months due to production cuts and tiny businesses collapsing, according to the union.

Vipul Jinjala, 31, consumed poison and ended his life on January 19. He is survived by his wife and two children. Thousands of workers are struggling to meet their family needs. Union is demanding that the state should strictly implement labour laws in the diamond sector.

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Vipul Jinjala, a 31-year-old diamond worker, took poison on January 19 and committed suicide. His wife and two kids have survived him.

His younger brother Paresh told the media that his older brother had been struggling financially for the past few months due to growing prices and reduced income, which had made it difficult for him to make ends meet and may have contributed to his suicide.

Ramesh Jilariya, president of the Surat Diamond Workers Union, noted that Vipul is not the only worker who struggles to provide for their family, finding it challenging to routinely pay EMIs for housing or vehicle loans, children’s school tuition, and meeting the daily household costs.

Roughly 10,000 diamond employees have lost their jobs in the last few months due to production cuts and tiny businesses collapsing, according to the union.

Ramesh Jilariya, president of the Surat Diamond Workers Union, noted that Vipul is not the only worker who struggles to provide for their family, finding it challenging to routinely pay EMIs for housing or vehicle loans, children’s school tuition, and meeting the daily household costs.

Roughly 10,000 diamond employees have lost their jobs in the last few months due to production cuts and tiny businesses collapsing, according to the union.

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Diamond Production Declines By 21%

The union is requesting that the state apply labour rules strictly in the diamond industry, which should be covered by the Factory Act, where the labour receives ESCI, provident fund, regular working hours, and other social and health security benefits that other labourers receive.

According to Jilariya, since diamond workers are not now covered by social security since they are not considered to be employees and do not receive pay stubs or file income tax returns, they are also not eligible for other benefits.

According to Vijay Mangukia, regional chairman of the Gems & Jewellery Promotion Council, production is down 20 to 21% because imports from America and other nations fell by 18% during the peak of the Christmas season.

Data show that the nation’s completed diamond exports decreased by 18.90% from December 2021’s $ 2905 million exports to $ 2356.70 million in December 2022.

Manuka acknowledges that this has forced production facilities to reduce output but disputes the claim that thousands of workers are unemployed. To reduce production, units have changed working hours from 12 to 10 or 8 hours, and instead of one weekly off, they now provide two weekly off.

Jilariya refuted this justification by asserting that fewer diamonds were cut and polished as a result of the shorter workweeks and more frequent weekly vacations. These actions are having a terrible effect on the workers because their incomes are dependent on their output and performance.

According to Nanubhai Vekariya, president of the Surat Diamond Association, not a single diamond manufacturing facility has shut down in the previous two to three months. He asserted, however, that there is no need for such a fuss to be made about the recession because business is booming and operating at full capacity. Vekariya claims that 3000 units in Surat employ 7 lakh people.

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The research attributed this reduction to the processing of lower-grade ore at the two major mines in the country, Jwaneng and Orapa mines.

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