Demanding release of withheld wages, scores of causal labourers engaged by Tourism Department Tuesday continued their protests for the sixth consecutive day.
The causal labourers – both male and female – assembled at the lawns of Tourism Department here under the banner of Kashmir Tourism Casual Labourers Union and demanded release of their wages. They accused authorities of ignoring their plight.
Protestors carried placards and banners. As per agitating labourers, they have not been paid wages since 2014.
According to the National Informatics Centre (NIC) website of the tourism department, a total of 342 casual labourers are registered but the protestors alleged that only 14 of them get the wages.
“We have not been paid since 2014. We have been delivering our official duties with sincerity and honesty. Due to withholding of wages, the education of our wards has immensely suffered as we can’t pay their school fee,” said Fayaz Ahmad, president of the union.
He added that the wards of the some of the casual labourers have been expelled from the schools due to non-payment of tuition fee.
“You can imagine the plight f a person who has not been paid remuneration and is living on the barrowings from others. We borrow to survive, to meet medical expenses of aged-parents and to meet basic needs of life,” he said.
The protestors said that the department has sufficient funds but didn’t pay them.
They said that they have taken up their grievance with concerned authorities time and again but that their pleas had fallen on deaf ears.
“We are suffering a lot but the department is in no mood to redress our problems. The department spends huge amount on festivals and other recreational activities but is reluctant to release pending wages of poor labourers,” the protesters said.
They appealed to the Governor Satya Pal Malik to intervene personally and direct concerned authorities to release all their pending wages forthwith.