Pourakarmikas threaten to strike work in State indefinitely from July 1

Pourakarmikas have threatened to strike work across the State indefinitely from July 1 in protest against the State Government’s failure to regularise the services of an estimated 40,000 temporary pourakarmikas in the State.

Narayan, president of Federation of Pourakarmika Associations of Karnataka, who held a meeting with heads of pourakarmika unions of Mysuru, Mandya, Kodagu and Chamarajanagar in Mysuru on Monday, said the temporary pourakarmikas, including the sweepers, underground drainage workers and drivers of garbage vehicles, were paid a measly salary of around ₹14,000 per month.

“The wage, though paid directly to the pourakarmikas by the government through the respective local bodies, was not anywhere near meeting the basic needs of the pourakarmikas’ families including their food, children’s education, etc. Besides, they are not even entitled to any social security benefits or holidays. Our one-point agenda is the regularisation of the services of these pourakarmikas,” he said.

Mr. Narayan said the State Cabinet in March 2017, during the tenure of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, had approved a proposal to regularise the services of the pourakarmikas. The proposal could not be implemented till the end of the government’s term in 2018 and the subsequent governments made no effort in the direction.

Pourakarmikas all over the State held demonstrations in their respective cities and towns and submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai through their DCs to take the necessary steps for regularising their services on May 19. A delegation of pourakarmikas also met Mr. Bommai in Bengaluru and submitted the memorandum. He had assured the delegation that the need for them to strike work would not arise as he would resolve the matter soon, Mr. Narayan claimed. However, no steps had been taken till date.

He claimed that more than 11,000 tonnes of garbage was generated in Karnataka every day including about 5,800 tonnes in Bengaluru alone. Of the 40,000 temporary pourakarmikas, 17,000 are in Bengaluru alone, he said. The number of permanent pourakarmikas in the State is barely 850, he added.

While the pourakarmikas of Bengaluru will gather in Freedom Park in Bengaluru on July 1, those in the rest of the State will gather in their respective district headquarters, he said.

Regional-level meetings with district pourkarmika unions have already been held in Tumakuru, Hubbali, Ballari, Shivamogga and Mysuru. Another round of meetings will be held in Bengaluru on June 16, Mr. Narayan added.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 1:23:56 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pourakarmikas-threaten-to-strike-work-in-state-indefinitely-from-july-1/article65527165.ece