Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Monday passed a resolution, demanding implementation of Minimum Wages Act in J&K.
During the day long function to observe May Day here, the CITU resolution said that J&K government must ensure the implementation of minimum wages of Rs 18,000 per month, social security benefits including pension, gratuity, provident fund, maternity benefits and regularization of workers engaged under various schemes.
The resolution also demanded comprehensive policy to tackle the alarming unemployment problem in the State, concrete measures to curb price rise and protection of trade union rights.
Speaking on the occasion, CPI (M) leader and CITU State President Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami said that the onslaught on labour class is too severe and can only be met with united struggle. "Labour laws across the state are being brazenly flouted and the destitute engaged in government and private sector as ad-hoc, casual, seasonal, need-based, contingency paid workers and contractuals are facing its brunt. Isolated efforts can't be effective, be united and bold enough to safeguard the democratic rights of the workers and defeat the anti-worker policies of successive governments," he said.
He added that ASHAs under NHM, Anganwadi workers & Helpers, CPWs, Mid Day Meal Workers, MGNREGA employees, contractuals, construction workers, need based, seasonal, casual labouers, daily wagers are neglected and their long pending demands are not met.
He said that the traditional artisans and weavers also reap little benefits of their hard toil and even were badly hit in the last floods but are still awaiting rehabilitation.
"Drastic cuts on allocations by the central government in the welfare schemes like ICDS, Mid-day-meal, NHM with the motive of finally doing away with such pro-people schemes and programmes altogether has desperately disillusioned the human resource working tirelessly and being meagerly paid under these schemes," he added.
He said that labour laws in the state are not observed in tune with the interests of workers in organized and unorganized sector and there was imminent need to amend and update these. "The Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services Act, 1996 to protect the rights of labourers working in construction projects has failed to benefit them. The Building and Other Construction Workers Act 1996 too has been a failure," he said.
He said that high levels of unemployment being a cause of serious concern have not been addressed seriously by the successive governments thereby putting our youth in a state of despair and worrisome, adding, "Widespread under-employment is also gaining momentum as highly qualified and skillful youth are doing low end and unskilled jobs. The government seems to be in no mood to take measures to maximize employment opportunities."