Mangaluru, Nov 12, 2014: Lead by Karnataka State Gram Panchayat Workers’ Association, demanding basic facilities like job security, provident fund and hike in salary, DK gram panchayat workers of the district started an indefinite strike against the State government, in front of the Zilla Panchayat building, at Kottara here on November 10, Monday.
In his inaugural speech, CITU District General Secretary Vasanth Achary said that development of the nation starts from villages. Ironically, many gram panchayat workers like pump operators are working from 15 to 20 years, still get Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 as salary.
They don’t have Provident Fund facility, pension and they don’t come under Janashri insurance policy scheme. Their children don’t have scholarship facility. According to a study, a person needs at least 2,000 calories of food to be healthy, which means he should get at least Rs 15,000 per month. The salary which is being given by the government is enough for breakfast. ‘Acche Din’ (Good days) should come for labour class first, he said.
Unfortunately, the Central and State governments outsource work and appoint workers. So, the number of contract employees is increasing in government sector. The feeling of insecurity is increasing among working class. With outsourcing these companies, can provide employment to only few skilled people. In a country like India with a huge population, how can it create job opportunities to all, he ridiculed.
He added that the Modi government is giving importance to globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation policies of the UPA government. Opportunity is given for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in every field including insurance, telecom, railway and even in defense industry. With the definition of ‘First Develop India,’ the government is just misleading people. Unfortunately, in Labour department itself 70 % of the workers are recruited on contract basis. How can justice exist for us ? he said.
Harassment of labour : The Rajasthan government has amended Industrial Disputes Act, so that one can be terminated from the job without any prior notice and salary. It has cancelled the post of labour officer. Moving a step further, it has banned the right to protest. The Central government prepared a proposal to pass the same policy in the Parliament through Central Act which is a warning sign, he said.
Association President K Yadhav Shetty demanded that while giving benefits to the gram panchayat workers, the government should not consider their approval date (last 10 years), but it should consider the date of first appointment of the worker. About providing job security and other government facilities, a meeting was to be convened with Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Tulasi Maddineni.
18 year experience- only Rs.3300, salary : Ramanna Bantwala who is working as pump operator at Amtadi from past 20 years says that according the government rule (2006), the pump operators should have passed at least SSLC. “So, now I am considered as Swachatagara (cleaner) all of a sudden. There are 14 pump operators like me in our gram panchayat. There are 48 GPs in Bantwal taluk. The government has selected only one as pump operator from a village. What about other 13?,” he said. Muttappa Poojary of Ganjimutt gets Rs 3,300 as salary after 18 years of experience. Many of pump operators don’t even get even thousand rupees per month.