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Equal Pay

April 19, 2013

My cousin works for a small soap manufacturer. They have a small factory in the outskirts of Bangalore, employing about 100 people. He works there as a HR Executive.

Most of the staff in their factory are people from villages in and around their industrial zone, many of them illeterates, few know to sign their names, others will stick to thumb imprints.

It was very surprising to hear about a factory like this in Bangalore and when I expressed this to him, He told me, ‘Many of the factory workers are like that, they just work and get paid, don’t think education is important, sadly, many of them grow their children also like this!’

Few weeks after my cousin started working for this company, He had a surprise of his own, the female workers in the factory were paid less than the male workers, for the same kind of job.

When he started enquring about this casually, He got some ‘not so important’ kind of responses, ‘workers themselves don’t complain about it, why are you worried?’

But my cousin felt this is unfair, even illegal. He went to his manager and complained about this. His first question was, ‘is it happening in our department only, or everywhere else?’

‘No sir, Here in our department women staff are paid as much as their male collegues, But among the workers in the shop floor, that is not the case, women are paid at least 20% less than men, for no apparent reason. This is not based on performance, I confirmed it myself.’

This was all his manager needed, he took this to the senior management immediately, fought for the right of the women staff and made sure that an equal pay policy was introduced in the company.

In the next annual day, my cousin was honoured with a special award, for raising this problem which was introduced long back, by somebody’s oversight and everyone were continuing it without even realizing the importance of resolving it. Eventhough it was not directly related to my cousin’s job responsibilites, he stood for those women and got the pay they deserve so well. I am proud of him!

This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with


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