JAMMU, MAR 12: Railway Loading & Unloading Workers Union Jammu, affiliated to CITU pledged to intensify their struggle if their genuine demands were not met at the earliest. The demand was raised during a daylong convention at Narwal here today. A large number of workers attended the convention. Addressing the gathering Kailash Nayak, General Secretary of the Union said that the workers are grossly exploited by contractors as rates of wages have not been increased for the last more than three years and whenever workers demand increase of rates of loading and unloading of materials the contractors threaten them to shift the unloading of materials to another place instead of Jammu Railway station. Moreover the contractors are trying to involve the workers into mutual conflict to weaken their unity. He demanded 50% increase in rates of wages, providing safety measures, uniform, shoes, masks to all workers, suitable accommodation with bath rooms, safe drinking water, ESI benefits, providing fund, gratuity compensation for injuries/death, overtime, dispensary, canteen facility at work place, union office, free travelling in railways from Jammu to home town and back to Jammu.
While addressing the convention state President CITU and MLA Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said that dismal scenario of social security benefits to the workers, rampant violation of labour laws, non implementation of Minimum Wages Act, extensive contractualization of workforce and attacks on trade union rights have proved detrimental to the interests of the working class. He said that the working class is enduring minimum wages and overtime violations, hazardous working conditions, discrimination and retaliation for speaking up or trying to organize. They have little recourse because of their need for work, especially during the pressing times of inflation and price rise. He further said that Loading & Unloading Workers should be covered under the ambit of The Building & other Construction Workers ( Regulation of Employment and Condition of Services) Act, 1996 and should be registered with the J&K Welfare Board to provide them all the beneficial schemes of Board.
Om Parkash, General Secretary CITU in his address said the social security benefits like pension, provident fund, health insurance etc. are hard won rights of the working class secured through decades of struggle but these workers have not been covered under the ambit of EPF, ESIC and other health Insurance schemes even though they have been working for more than thirty years.
The convention adopted several resolutions which include EPF, ESI and health Insurance, enhancement of wages implementation of labour laws and housing colony to these workers.