Karnataka

Daily wage workers to protest outside forest office in Kalaburagi

More than 270 daily wage workers of the Forest Department are being paid less than minimum wage, said Chandrashekar Hiremath, president of the Shramajeevigala Vedike, on Sunday.

Addressing presspersons in Kalaburagi, Mr. Hiremath said daily wage workers had a major role in increasing the forest cover in the district. They not only plant saplings, but also protect them till they grow to a certain height by erecting fences around them. Though the Forest Department issued a circular in March 2018 directing officials to deposit wages in their bank accounts, they are still receiving wages in cash, he said. He said the prescribed minimum wage was ₹11,000 a month, but the workers were being paid between ₹2,000 and ₹6,000.

Srimanth Siddaram and Shivaraya Kotgi, both daily wage workers, said that they were paid once in four months and were asked to collect their wages either from the contractor or the security guards of the department. “The salary that we receive is meagre and insufficient,” said Mr. Siddaram.

Mr. Hiremath demanded that the dues to workers for the past four months be cleared immediately. The workers, under the banner of Shramajeevigala Vedike, plan to protest outside the forest office on Wednesday and Thursday. The forum then plans to launch an indefinite hunger strike from Friday, if the officials fail to address the problems raised.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:24:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/daily-wage-workers-to-protest-outside-forest-office/article30836960.ece

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