Daily wagers protest for regularization

The daily-wagers working in different government departments Wednesday protested to seek regularization of their services, even as they extended their ongoing ‘pen-down’ strike for 48 hours.

The protestors under the banner ‘J&K Daily Wagers Forum’ staged protest demonstrations at Press Enclave here. They raised pro-justice slogans.

“We demand regularization of our services. Most of us have been working on meagre wages in different departments for the past 20 years,” said Aijaz Ahmad, a protestor.

He said that the daily-rated workers have already opposed referring of Class-IV posts to J&K’s recruitment agency, saying they have the “first right” to be regularized against vacant posts.

Chairman of the forum, Sajad Parray said that they were forced to take to the streets as the authorities showed no seriousness in addressing their demands. “Our voices have gone unheard for decades now. It is high time for authorities to deliver justice to more than 61,000 daily-rated workers and their families,” he said.

The forum had announced 48-hour pen-down strike on 26 October, which was later extended by 24 hours. On Wednesday, it announced its further extension by 48 hours.

Parray alleged that “some miscreants are vandalizing public property inside government offices to defame the daily rated workers’ strike.”

“We reiterate that our protests are peaceful and we will continue our peaceful struggle for genuine demands,” he said.

He said that the government decision to give additional five marks weightage to them in recruitment of Class-IV posts was a “cruel joke”. “The plight of daily-rated workers has been ignored and there is no word for fast tracking regularization of our services,” he said.

He said referring class-IV vacant posts to the recruitment agency “amounts to snatching our livelihood.”

Parray said most of the daily wagers have crossed upper age limit for government jobs. He urged the government to regularize the services of daily-rated workers engaged since 1994.

Similarly, various daily-rated workers association from Roads and Buildings, Mechanical Engineering Department, Public Heath Engineering, Contractual Workers and others Wednesday held separate protests at Press Enclave here, demanding regularization of services and implementation of Minimum Wages Act in J&K.