Contract workers' stir off after BWSSB assurance

Contract workers' stir off after BWSSB assurance

Contract employees working for Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), on continuous strike since Monday, have called off their agitation after BWSSB agreed to fulfil most of their demands.

Over 2,000 valvemen, drivers, sanitary workers, helpers, security guards, maintenance staff at sewage treatment plants (STPs) among others had boycotted work on Tuesday. 
The abstinence from work by the contract employees severely affected functioning of the Board especially at STP plants, which requires constant motoring. Despite regular employees being asked to work overtime, these plants did not have workers to carry on the operation and maintenance work.

The protesting workers were invited for a meeting with the labour department officials and BWSSB, where the Board acceded to their key demands and sought time to fulfill the other claims.

Contract workers had asked for minimum wages for labourers in STP plants, water pumping stations and their arrears from August 2016.

The Board agreed for the minimum wages to be paid as per the pay scale of the urban local bodies where sanitary workers get a separate pay. With regard to bonus, the Board sought time and agreed to pay arrears from April this year. BWSSB also agreed to pay the bonus contract workers are entitled to.

As for “equal work-equal pay” BWSSB wanted to hold a meeting with the contract employees –as decreed by the Supreme Court—and then decide.

 Clifton Rosario, advocate and member of the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) said: “Most of the BWSSB’s contract employees have approached the Labour Commissioner’s office with an application seeking “equal work-equal pay” from their employer and these applications -depending on the employee’s eligibility- will be considered.”

Adinarayana, one of the employees, said BWSSB has also agreed to reinstate over 35 contract employees who were removed by the Board.


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