Palike-Keonics blame game leaves employees in lurch

Data entry operators not paid salaries

Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation (Keonics), through which the computer operators were outsourced to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike ( BBMP), claims that the Palike is yet to pay them Rs 27 lakh as salaries for the months of April and May.

Keonics that entered into an agreement with the Palike since 2009 to provide manpower services to BBMP on Monday claimed that 70 data entry operators working at various Palike offices have still not got their salaries for April and May. “BBMP is the principal employer and hence, only after the Palike releases funds to us, we can pay the workers,” Keonics managing director Ramachandra said.

“Our agreement with the BBMP to provide manpower to it has ended in May itself. But the BBMP Commissioner, M Lakshminarayana has asked us to extend it by a month. We will no longer be associated with the Palike once the salary dues are paid to the workers. I had written to the Commissioner in June over the salary issue. He  promised to clear the pending dues within 24 hours, but till date there has been no response,” added Ramachandra.

Stage protest

On Monday noon, more than 100 data entry operators including members from BBMP Computer Operators' Union staged a protest in front of Keonics Central Office on Race Course Road demanding immediate payment of salary arrears. For the month of June too, none of the workers has been paid, said the Union members.

"The Palike had raised the minimum wages of the data entry operators from Rs 6,690 to Rs 7, 238 with effect from April, 2012. But none of them is getting the hiked pay. BBMP had earlier told us that they have released the money to Keonics. But, Keonics claims that it has not received any amount from Palike,” said general secretary of the Union, Palani Swamy G K.

‘Blown out of proportion’

BBMP Additional Commissioner (Administration) Kaveri B B told Deccan Herald: “The matter is being blown out of proportion. We have cleared all the dues till the month of May and paid the salary dues to the workers under Mahadevapura zone on Monday. From our end, we are trying our best to clear all the pending dues.”

Meanwhile, a data entry operator, Soumya, 24, from East zone was badly injured during the protest on Monday as the police personnel deployed near Keonics reportedly resorted to a lathi charge. According to the Union members, the police beat her, leaving her hands bruised. She was taken to KC General Hospital for treatment.

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