AICCTU (All India Central Council of Trade Unions) held a demonstration on 1st Mar. 2014 in front of Karnataka Labour Commissioner’s Office demanding implementation of ‘Service Weightage’ with retrospective effect and ‘Same and similar wages and service conditions for same and similar work’. Several unions of contract workers in public, private and government sectors, affiliated to AICCTU participated in the demonstration led by Com. S.Balan, State President of AICCTU.
The protest is organized with the primary demand of ‘Same Wages for Same Work’ as specified under the Central Rule 25(2)(v)(a) of Contract Labour (Abolition and Regulation) Act, 1971 and on par with workers engaged in same and similar work in corporate and multinational companies like Bosch, ITC, L&T Komatsu, Kenmetal, Federal Moghul and Central public sectors like BEML, BHEL, HAL, State government run Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), hospitals, etc.. The same is the case with unabated agitations by health sector workers including 108 Ambulance Service, TB Control and HIV Prevention departments, etc.
In the era of Liberalization, Privatisation and Globalisation, the regular workforce is shrinking drastically and on the contrary, the contract and other exploitative forms of employment are expanding. Lakhs of workers are engaged by corporate and multinational companies in Bangalore on contract basis. None of these companies abide by the labour welfare laws. While both the contract and regular workers are engaged in works of same or similar nature, the contract workers are severely discriminated in terms of wages and service conditions. An increase of a ‘Service Weightage’ of 2 per cent of basic pay per year of service notified by the Karnataka State Government on 11 Mar. 2013 is not yet implemented, even after a year.
Com. S.Balan, State President of AICCTU called upon workers to intensify the agitation and demanded the labour authorities to play a proactive role in implementation of service weightage and same payment for same work. He declared that struggle will continue till workers get their due share of benefits.
Com. Shankar, All India Vice President of AICCTU and Central Committee Member of CPI(ML) (Liberation), In-charge of Karnataka called upon workers to march on streets and make the struggle as a broad based movement involving all contract workers in Bangalore. He also called upon workers to expand the movement so as to challenge the powers that be. He also emphasized on the importance of workers participation in trade union struggles and activities.
The Protest demonstration was also addressed by Com. Cliffton, advocate for ALF (Alternate Law Forum), Appanna, State Secretary, Somu, District President, Puttegowda, CPI(ML) District Secretary, District Committee Members Mohan from BOSCH and Ravikumar from Stump Schuule.