Some dignity, and a wage hike for garbage collectors

Some dignity, and a wage hike for garbage collectors

Garbage collectors in the City are likely to get a hike of a whopping 150 per cent in their salaries, apart from benefits.

Despite the delay in inviting bids for garbage collection tenders, the Palike has added mandatory clauses in the tenders to include Employee State Insurance (ESI) and Provident Fund (PF) benefits, apart from increasing their wages to be paid to them by contractors from Rs 2,500 to Rs 6,900 a month.

The move by the BBMP is also aimed at ensuring transparency with regard to the number of people hired by the contractors. “The move comes in the wake of ensuring that minimum wages are given to the labourers as per the Labour Act,” said a Palike official.

Further, the BBMP has also added a mandatory clause of disbursing the salaries to the labourers by cheque or credited to the workers’ bank accounts, rather than paying them by cash. The move is expected to account for the amount that is released towards the garbage contractors by the BBMP.

Head count

“The disbursal of the salaries by cheques will provide us a head count of workers employed by the contractor,” said the official. While, the move may well enthuse workers to to give their 100 per cent to the job at hand, the BBMP Opposition leaders are sceptical of the hike.

“If the hike is included in the garbage collection tenders, the amount of door-to-door garbage collection will be drastically reduced, with contractors concentrating on usage of trucks, lorries and autorickshaws in removing garbage from only the collection points,” said JD(S) leader Padmanabha Reddy.

However, Deputy Mayor S Harish said the Palike’s proposal are in line with the provisions of the Labour Act that lays down a minimum wage. The BBMP has also included in the tender, a series of other clauses, including a mandatory clause of providing boots, gloves and hand gear for those labourers collecting  garbage.

“This time, if the garbage contractors fail to adhere to the BBMP diktat of providing the protective gear, we will levy one per cent of the tender amount as fine, for each offence detected by the Palike,” said the
official.

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