Daily- wage labourers working in University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Raichur, began an indefinite strike outside the university campus here on Wednesday, to press for various demands.
They are seeking action on several issues such as reinstatement of workers whose services had been terminated, revision of minimum wages, maintenance of attendance register for daily-wage workers, and depositing monthly wages to the worker’s bank account.
R. Manasaiah, honorary president of the daily-wage workers’ union, said none of their demands were looked into by the university, despite reminders. “We had staged a protest earlier and and an agreement was reached at the time. However, the university did not meet the promises it made,” he said. The police succeeded in bringing the agitating workers to the negotiating table. The workers put forth their demands at a meeting attended by district labour officer Arathi Poojary, UAS Vice-Chancellor B.V. Patil, Deputy Superintendent of Police M. Pasha and other officials. They demanded provision of work seven days a week, throughout the year. Dr. Patil expressed his helplessness, citing the lack of funds and the nature of work as reasons.
However, he agreed to pay revised wages as per the Minimum Wages Act. “We have work till February 2014. We will give work for 26 days a month and pay Rs. 236.50 a day,” he said. Ms. Poojary pointed out a violation in the manner tenders were executed by the university, under the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act. The workers decided to continue their struggle since most of their demands remained unresolved.