Their other demands include housing benefits
Scores of pourakarmikas staged a protest at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) head office demanding equal pay for equal work, an increase in minimum wages, housing benefits and bringing drivers and cleaners/assistants of auto tippers and compactors under the direct payment system.
Though the pourakarmikas, who were labelled frontline workers by the BBMP following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, have all been brought under the direct payment system, the drivers and cleaners/assistants are excluded. Their salaries and benefits continue to be controlled by garbage contractors, said Maithreyi Krishnan of BBMP Pourakarmikara Sangha, affiliated to the All India Central Council of Trade Unions.
The Sangha pointed out that pourakarmikas who are above 60 years are being given just one day’s notice and relieved from work. The civic body should give them at least three months’ notice, apart from extending pension benefits, said Sangha members.
They have demanded that the minimum wage be increased from ₹14,040 to ₹30,000, and that housing benefits be extended to all pourakarmikas.
Ms. Krishnan said that in many areas, the pourakarmikas had not been given pushcarts and were instead given gunny sacks. She alleged that they were often at the receiving end and harassed by BBMP officials.
The Sangha submitted a memorandum of its demands to senior civic officials.
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