'No constructive measures for workers' welfare'

assistance: Construction workers recieve cheques from Labour Officer Revanna at a programme organised by District  Construction Workers’ Association, in Kolar on Tuesday. DH Photo

Years have gone after enacting laws on welfare of labour community, still construction workers have remained the most vulnerable segment of unorganised sector in India, said general secretary of the State Building and Other Construction Workers’ Union N Veeraswamy.

At an event organised to distribute identity cards for the labourers and scholarships for their children Veeraswamy rued that the laws pertaining to the welfare of building and other construction workers, decades back are not being enforced strictly. These workers have an uncertain working hours, work in hostile environment with inherent risks to their life and physique.

But these construction workers, who form the major chunk of labour population after the farmers, have no social security.

Apart from the labour laws such as Minimum Wages Act, the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act,1996 and the Building & Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act, 1996 were enacted 14 years ago. These law aimed to provide for regulation of employment and conditions of service of the building and other construction workers as also their safety, health and welfare measures in every establishment which employs or employed during the preceding year ten or more workers. The State government also passed a legislation pertaining to the construction workers but has not enacted them so far, he added.

The general secretary said there is an urgent need to organise these workers and educated them on these laws, various welfare measures and facilities they are entitled for under various schemes. Veeraswamy said: “The workers who have fought for their rights, are lawful inheritors of the privileges provided by the Labour Welfare Board and availing them of is also their duty.” District Labour Welfare Officer Revanna said identity cards have been provided to 4,000 workers in the district. He said the registered workers need to make their co-workers aware of the significance and benefits of registration.

Benefits of registration

The registered workers will be entitled for medical reimbursement and allowances; ex gratia for families of the worker in the event of death on duty; allowances in case of physical disability occurred during the work; financial assistance for children’s education, marriage, maternity will be given one year after the registration. After completing two years, the registered members will get loan for purchase of building equipment and after five years, the members will get housing loan and pension, he said.

CITU district unit president Narayanswamy blamed the corrupt elected representatives for neglecting the workers’ causes.

Six children of the workers were given scholarship on the occasion. Zilla Nirmiti Kendra planning director Narayanagowda, Labour union president Seepura Narayanappa, secretary Honnenahalli Yallappa, leaders Munivenkatappa, Kodiyappa, R Nagaraj, CITU district unit leaders Munirajamma and Gram Panchayat member Siddanahalli Yallappa were present on the occasion.

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