Daily wagers, casual labourers oppose new recruitment rules for Class-IV jobs

Seeking regularisation of their services, over 60,000 casual labourers working in more than 12 departments have formed a united front to oppose new recruitment rules for Class-IV in J&K.

The casual labourers’ unions in different departments have come on one platform and threatened to launch an agitation if the government doesn’t accept their demand for regularisation of their services in one week.

Thousands of daily wagers, casual labourers, seasonal labourers, ITI workers, land donors, need-based workers, CP workers, and others have been working in different departments including Forest, Irrigation and Flood Control, Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Tourism, PHE, ITI, Mechanical Irrigation, PWD, PDD, Estates, Soil conservation and Sericulture for the past many years.

They fear of losing their jobs in view of the new recruitment rules issued by the government, said President Casual Labourers United Front, Kashmir, Imran Parrey.

“Over six lakh people including families of these casual labourers and other category of such workers will be directly affected with the new recruitment rule since the government hasn’t considered the demand of 60,000 casual labourers for regularization of their service under SRO-64. We are being dragged into competition despite working for over 10 to 20 years in the departments. It is sheer injustice,” said Parrey.

He said many of them have crossed the age limit and will not be able to apply for the jobs under the new recruitment policy for Class-IV posts.

Amid the ongoing COVID19 measures, Parrey said, these workers especially those working on the Hospital Development Fund were on the forefront to prevent spread of the pandemic.

“These 10,000 jobs advertised by the government should be the exclusive rights of these workers,” he said. “We are paid around Rs 6,700 per month, but we do more work than others. Instead of regularizing our services, the government wants to show us doors and recruit 10,000 new people,” he said.

Parrey said they will stop all services including water and electricity if their demands were not accepted.

Tanveer Hussain, President, J&K Casual Labourers Front said they have given a week time to the government to accept their demands.

“Otherwise, we will hit the roads in protest against the new recruitment rules,” said Hussain.

He said there was a sense of insecurity among casual labourers, daily wagers and other category of workers. “We will fight till justice is delivered,” said Hussain.

He said J&K has also failed to implement Minimum Wage Act-2019, despite the fact that other states and Union territories have implemented it.