Not Paid For Months, 160 Karnataka Sanitation Workers Stage Overnight Protest
The Koppal DC Office officials have confirmed that despite doing their jobs, many of these civic sanitation workers have not received their wages this year.
Demanding payment of nine months, a group of 160 civic sanitation workers in Koppal district of Karnataka protested overnight on Thursday outside the office of the Civic Municipal Commissioner. The pourakarmikas camped outside the office of the CMC, by spreading mattresses and bed sheets on the ground, protesting for what is rightfully theirs.
Protesting for a week now, it was on Thursday that they made up their minds to complain throughout the night, reported The News Minute.
Pourakarmikasare is not paid wages for months
35-year-old Parshuram, who has been working as a civic sanitation worker since 2011, said that he had not received anything from the municipality instead he was told they would pay the salaries directly. He has been taking loans to pay his bills and school fees of his children
The All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), which is politically affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, as well as a human rights organization called Safai Karamchari Andolan, has reached out in support of the protesting pourakarmikas.
“These workers have not been paid wages for nine months despite having toiled and having biometric attendance. This is inhuman, illegal and contrary to the Constitution and labour laws,” read a letter from Bharadwaj, State Vice-President of AICCTU.
Failure of the direct benefit system
In December 2017, the state government decided to regularise pourakarmikas, doing away with the contractors who were responsible for paying them. It was decided that they will be paid directly by the local municipality. But even after this direct benefit system was announced, several civic sanitation workers in Gangavathi, who have been working for years now, have claimed that the government’s payroll has not recognised them. Many of the protesting? Workers happen to be Dalits, and the district administration is now under provocation to resolve the problem.
Similar protests in the past
Similar protests demanding unpaid wages were held in Bengaluru in the first six months of this year. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) office saw hundreds of civic sanitary workers on July 12, demanding their wages be paid. Many of them even had to sell off their jewellery and other belongings for survival.
Even in Mysuru on October 3, porakarmikas staged protests demanding their wages but withdrew it after a meeting with Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy and Dy CM G Parameshwara in Bengaluru.
In a tragic incident in July, Subramani, a civic sanitation worker from Malleshwaram committed suicide when he was not paid his wages for as long as six months.
After this protest, it was announced by the BBMP that Rs 27 crore has been released to pay the civic sanitation workers in the city, but a few of these workers claimed that discrepancies in the system have resulted in still not paying them their wages.
The district administration now claims that they are trying to resolve the issue and are also planning to get permission from the state government to employ the excess civic sanitation workers,
The Logical Indian urges the authorities to resolve the problem as soon as possible, and help the pourakarmikas live an easier life.