Pledges to intensify united struggle to concede their demands
Jammu March 4: Bhavan Nirman Kamgar Union, Kathua, affiliated to CITU held a day long convention at Marheen, Hiranagar. A large number of workers attended the convention.
Addressing the gathering, Raj Kumar, General Secretary of the union said that the procedure for registration of construction workers need to be simplified and also off line registration of the workers permitted/continued as the far flung areas are lacking net facilities. The financial assistance under the prevailing Act including scholarship to the wards, marriage assistance, medical assistance etc.be disbursed to the nirman workers in time bound manner. The poor workers/labourers are almost ignored for inclusion under BPL category which need to be rectified, besides, ration @ 35kgs per family be provided regularly on monthly basis for which the people have to wait for months together. Ajit Singh, President of the union also addressed the convention.
While addressing the convention Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, State President CITU and MLA said that the dismal scenario of social security benefits to the workers, rampant violation of labour laws, non-implementation of minimum wages act, extensive contractualization of workforce and attacks on trade union rights have proved detrimental to the interests of the working class. He said that the working class is enduring minimum wages and overtime violations, hazardous working conditions, discrimination, and retaliation for speaking up or trying to organize. They have little recourse because of their need for work, especially during the pressing times of inflation and price rise.
The labour laws in the state are not in tune with the interests of workers in organized and unorganized sector and there was imminent need to amend and update these. The (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act, 1996 to protect the rights of labourers working in construction projects has failed to benefit them. The Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1996 too has been a failure, the CITU president observed.
The attitude of the government is profoundly negative and hugely challenging to the working class. ASHA’s under NHM, Anganwadi workers & Helpers, CPWs, Mid Day Meal Workers, MGNREGA employees, Contractuals, Construction Workers, Need Based, Seasonal, Casual Labouers, Daily Wagers are neglected and their long pending demands are not met.
Sham Prasad Kesar senior CITU leader expressed serious concern over the plight of the working class who are adversely hit by the neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the Central and State Governments. These policies are drastically affecting the workforce especially working in the unorganized sector across the country including Jammu and Kashmir virtually reducing them to the status of bonded labour. The undue obstructions created by Construction Welfare Board in registering the genuine labourers has multiplied the sufferings of construction workers. The registration process has been made draconian which pushes a worker from pillar to post to get himself registered.
Om Prakash, General Secretary CITU in his address said the social security benefits like pension, provident fund, health insurance etc. are hard won rights of the working class secured through decades of struggle. These gains are now being reversed through privatization of pension funds, provident funds and cuts in subsidies and welfare benefits and such measures being implemented across the country today specifically target the social security benefits in order to pass on the burden to the working people. Stressing for implementation of the basic labour laws in the State, he demanded implementation of Minimum Wages Act and fixation of statutory minimum wage of not less than Rs 18,000 per month. He demanded employment to local residents in the companies executing different construction projects in the state.
The convention adopted several resolutions which include the resolution on ‘Implementation of Labour Laws, Minimum Wages Act, simplifying the process of registration of workers and redressal of burning issues confronting working class.