Report highlights poor working conditions of pourakarmikas

Several local bodies have reportedly not paid their wages for two to five months

Despite directions from the High Court of Karnataka to ensure that pourakarmikas are provided with safety gear, a report has found that many local bodies in the State have failed to do so.

The report was prepared by several unions and associations working with the civic staff in the State after interviews with civic workers, road sweepers, door-to-door garbage collectors, auto and compactor drivers, helpers employed by local bodies in Bengaluru, Kolar, Vijayapura, Gangavathi, Bhagyanagar, Mandya, Maddur, Nanjangud, Chikkaballapura, Shivamogga, Doddaballapur, Pavagada, Chikkanayakanahalli, Madhugiri, Tumakuru, Surpur, Yadgir, Ballari, Dharwad, Gadag, Kalaburgi, and Raichur.

It found that in many cities and towns, pourakarmikas were not provided with the safety gear, were forced to walk for nearly three hours a day in the absence of public transport, were not getting food, and were being made to work long hours without access to basic amenities such as drinking water and toilets.

Though the State government has stated that pourakarmikas must work only from 6.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m., many were being made to work up to 2 p.m. Several local bodies have reportedly not paid civic workers their wages for two to five months. The associations have also sought a grievance redressal and monitoring system in each local body.

The report states that it is important that the government and local bodies ramp up efforts to protect the welfare of civic workers. A large number of civic workers, especially contract workers, loaders and helpers in autos, lorry and compactors, working outside Bengaluru were not even provided gloves or masks, said the authors.

The report suggests that the government make transport arrangements for civic workers.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:09:35 PM |

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