Over 3,000 hostel workers face uncertain future

As many as 3,312 outsourced workers, who are cooks and assistant cooks in the Backward Classes Welfare (BCW) hostels, are fearful of losing their jobs.

The Backward Classes Welfare Department recruited 3,312 permanent employees by direct recruitment in 2017-18. As a result, an equal number of contract workers holding the same posts were about to lose their jobs in 2018-19. But following protests, they were reinstated by the then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy until June 2019. However, they were not given an extension.

The workers, who were on strike in Bengaluru, have called it off following an assurance from the Chief Minister’s Office on Thursday that they will be given work “as per requirement”. However, they are still a concerned lot since there is no permanent solution in the horizon. The Karnataka Rajya Samyukta Vasathi Nilaya Karmikara Sangha was on a strike demanding job security until retirement and settlement of salary dues of five to six months.

Vedavathi, 42, from Ponnampete of Virajpet district, said she was sacked from her job as watchwoman in a BCW girls’ hostel in June. “I have a visually impaired son who is 19 and a daughter. My husband is sick, and recently, our rented house got washed away in the floods. We now live in a relief centre,” she said. She was inducted into the job again in the beginning of the month, but she fears that she may lose it.

Geetha (name changed) who has been working for 12 years in Badami (Bagalkot dist.) BCW College hostel lost her job in March. “The officials say that they require government orders for reinstatement,” she said.

K. Somashekar Yadagiri, president of the union, said, “About 90% of the workers are destitute women who are either widowed or are the only income generators of the family. Many have crossed the age to apply for new jobs too. Thus we demand job security.”

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 2:29:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/over-3000-hostel-workers-face-uncertain-future/article29419891.ece

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