Srinagar, August 7: While assuring his full support to two-day strike of scheme workers on August 7 and 8 followed by Satyagraha/Jail Bharo on August 9, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tairgami Friday urged the government to fulfill the genuine demands of Aganwadi workers/ helpers, ASHAs,Mid-Day Meal Workers and CPWs working in education department at the earliest.
These scheme workers are working in the toughest conditions and keeping the government services running. However, they are not being paid minimum wages nor do they have any social security benefits. In the name of ‘honorarium’ or ‘incentive’ they are paid a pittance.
The government has totally neglected scheme workers, who are contributing a lot to make government schemes a success. In the name of reform and benefit to the corporate sector, the BJP government is hell-bent to disarm the working class of their legitimate rights for better working conditions. Labour laws are not being implemented properly and even the minimum wages are denied to workers working in different sectors.
The government must withdraw the proposals for privatization of basic services including health (including hospitals), nutrition (including ICDS and MDMs) and stop privatization of Public Sector Enterprises and services, make the Centrally Sponsored Schemes like ICDS, NHM and MDMS permanent with adequate budget allocation and implement the recommendations of 45th and 46th ILC for regularization of scheme workers as workers; Pay minimum wages Rs.21000 per month and pension Rs.10000 per month; Provide ESI and PF to all scheme workers.
The government must also enact legislation for right to universal healthcare as in case of right to food and right to education, no increase in working hours and freezing of Labour laws in the name of Covid crisis, free ration /food for all the needy and Rs.7500 per month for all non taxpaying families for six months .
Besides, the government should provide safety gear for all frontline workers, especially the ASHA workers, anganwadi workers and those in the health sector; PPEs for those who are engaged in containment areas and red zone ; Frequent, random and free Covid-19 test of all frontline workers.
Rs 50 lakhs insurance cover should be provided to all frontline workers covering deaths on duty and Pension/jobs for the dependants of the workers and also coverage of treatment for Covid-19 for the entire family.
The existing insurance schemes (a) Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana, (b) Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and (c) Anganwadi Karyakarti Bima Yojana must be implemented properly with universal coverage applicable to all scheme workers. For finance mobilisation, projects such as “Central Vista Project” be scrapped and tax the super rich and recover the dues from willful defaulters for resources.