Onus of construction workers' welfare on trade unions: CJI

 
Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan and Governor H R Bhardwaj at a seminar in Bangalore on Sunday. DH photo In the inaugural address at the Seminar on ‘Building and Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1996’ organised by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA),  he said that the CWWB has not been effectively implemented in many states.

“States like Delhi and Kerala have not effectively implemented the Act. The trade unions have a major role in ensuring the better implementation and formation of the boards,” he said. Pointing out that the Karnataka has been able to collect over Rs 200 crore of cess meant for the welfare of the workers, he said that the Union leaders must come forward to educate the working class in this direction.

He said that the one percent cess collected for benefit of the construction class will be utilised for their welfare like education of their children, construction of houses for them and providing basic amenities.

Chief Minister B S Yedyyurappa, speaking on this occasion called upon the State labour department to create an awareness regarding the benefit of the Act. “ We have collected Rs 217 crore cess after establishing it in 2007, but only 75,000 people out of the total 12 lakh construction workers have been able to avail the benefit of the board. The Labour department must create an awareness to ensure more registration, if not the very purpose of the Act will be defeated,” he said.

K N Bachegowda, Labour Minister said that the State is in the process of constituting the board for unorganised sector workers. “ The existing board at present addresses only the Construction workers, but there are 38 other categories, which forms the unorganised sector, we will soon have a board exclusively for them, a sum of Rs 10 crores has been allocated for this in the 2008-09 budget,” he said. Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Suresh Kumar hinted that the State will make it mandatory for the contractors to ensure that their workers register themselves with the welfare board.

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