Bengaluru

Pourkarmikas say promises not kept; decide to continue strike

The leaders of the striking workers have also demanded that the government fix a timeline to bring pourakarmikas on its payrolls. 

The leaders of the striking workers have also demanded that the government fix a timeline to bring pourakarmikas on its payrolls.  | Photo Credit: PTI

Accusing the State government of not delivering on the promises made, pourakarmikas have decided to continue their strike indefinitely till all assurances have been committed to in writing. They alleged that promises made by the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in the meeting on Friday found no mention in the minutes of the meeting officials shared with them on Saturday. The strike will continue for the third day on Sunday.

“The Chief Minister had agreed to bring pourakarmikas on payroll and bring loading and unloading helpers on direct payment. He had also agreed to provide ₹10 lakh to those pourakarmikas who retire after 60 years. We also received assurances on scholarships for children of pourakarmikas and others. But when we received the letter, there was no reference about these promises made and many things have been left out. We want the State government to include all the promises that were made, and the Chief Minister must come in person and give the letter. We will continue our strike till our demands are met,” said Nirmala, president, BBMP Pourakarmikara Sangha.

The leaders of the striking workers also demanded that the government fix a timeline to bring pourakarmikas on its payrolls. “When we received a letter from the officials, we found out that there is no reference about what is the timeline to make employment of pourakarmikas permanent. There is no reference about making direct payment facility for helpers and bringing out a separate law/policy for the pourakarmikas. It has become necessary for us to continue our strike, “ said union leader Clifton D’ Rozario.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah participated in the protest at Freedom Park and demanded that the government issue an order meeting the demands of the pourakarmikas. He said that the Congress government had increased the salaries of the pourakarmikas but the BJP government was not doing anything to protect their interests.

“Lives of pourakarmikas, who belong to oppressed communities, is filled with hardships. It is the duty of the government to safeguard their interests,” said Siddaramaiah, assuring them that if Congress returned to power in 2023, the party’s government would bring all of them on government payrolls.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the government would address the issues at the earliest. “We are sympathetic towards the problems of pourakarmikas and the State government is committed to redress them in a humanitarian way,” Mr Bommai told reporters before leaving for Hyderabad to participate in the BJP national executive meet.

Sanitation workers, including pourakarmikas, UGD workers, sweepers and drivers, launched an indefinite strike in the State on Friday demanding that the government regularise the services of pourakarmikas serving with urban local bodies.

Workers have urged the government to pay PF gratuity up to ₹10 lakh to those who have completed service, a monthly pension of ₹5,000 and other benefits, including a complete health check-up every three months. They also demanded 10% special reservation for their children in schools.


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Printable version | Aug 8, 2022 4:50:13 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/pourkarmikas-say-promises-not-kept-decide-to-continue-strike/article65593575.ece