The Karnataka State Construction Workers’ Federation has demanded that the government fix the minimum wages of construction workers at Rs. 10,000 a month.

The workers and their families should also get below the poverty line (BPL) cards to help them get foodgrains at subsidised rates, the federation said during a protest here on Tuesday.

In a memorandum addressed to Labour Minister B.N. Bache Gowda, submitted to the district authorities, the federation listed these and other demands. The members asked the government to implement the provisions of the Construction Workers Act of 1996, enacted by the Union government.

The government should provide smartcards to all construction labourers, covering them under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, and issue directions to all banks to allow them to open zero balance accounts.

Those workers without houses should be provided one, they said.

The federation also asked that all construction labourers be registered. Now, although there were more than 15 lakh workers in the State, only 2 lakh were registered by the Labour Department, it pointed out.

Welfare

Special Correspondent from Bidar reports:

The federation was joined by members of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions in Bidar on Tuesday, as they staged a protest in front of the district labour office, demanding implementation of welfare measures listed in the Act.

Apart from minimum wage of Rs. 10,000, they demanded check on inflation, safety for workers, free healthcare, home loans, educational scholarships for children, allowance for their wedding, and shelter.