GP workers protest wage delay

GP workers protest wage delay

Thousands of Gram Panchayat workers from across the State gathered at the Freedom Park here on Tuesday in protest against the delay in payment of minimum wages to them.

“In February 2011, the State Government had announced that Gram Panchayat workers would be paid minimum wages besides the dearness allowance,” Maruthi Manpade, President of the Karnataka Grama Panchayat Noukarara Sangha, said.  The Sangha’s State General Secretary, M D Nadagowda, said that many workers had not been paid for the last two years.

“The Gram Panchayats say they have no money to pay us,” he alleged and raised concern over the government’s decision to “fire” computer operators. “There are nearly 4,000 computer operators and the government has now decided to outsource their work. Where will these people go,” Nadagowda asked.  There are nearly 50,000 workers in the State.

Many of them are security guards, sweepers and sanitary workers. They do not get any benefit whatsoever. “In 2008, the government issued an order to provide us provident fund.

But it remains on paper and no progress has been made,” Nadagowda added. Besides better wages, the workers demanded pension schemes. “Our future should be secured too,” Nadagowda said.  The protesters later made representations to the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, H K Patil. According to Manpade, the minister had promised that a decision would be taken in 10 days.

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