Several construction workers and members of workers’ organisations staged a protest at the Labour Commissioner’s Office here on Tuesday demanding a minimum wage of Rs. 10,000 a month for construction workers.

Gathering under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and the Karnataka Rajya Kattada Mattu Ithare Nirmaanakara Federation, the protest was a part of the nationwide campaign announced by the Construction Workers’ Federation of India.

Ineffective laws

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader B. Madhava said although there were enough laws for construction workers — to provide them health insurance, social security, and other benefits — the schemes were not reaching the people.

He faulted the lack of safety systems in place for construction workers, which have led to numerous and preventable accidents at construction sites. He putforth a minimum wage of Rs. 10,000 to ensure workers were not exploited.

Among the other prominent demands putforth by the Federation members was the inclusion of construction workers in BPL category, appointment of chief executive officers in Welfare Boards, free housing for workers, immediate processing of applications for schemes, and filling vacancies in Labour Department in the district and so on.

A labour inspector, who accepted the memorandum on behalf of the Assistant Labour Commissioner (in-charge) at the office, said with any new law, there would be “small problems” with the implementation, but it was up to the people and organisations such as these to point them out.