“Not SMART way of running corporation: ‘Smart City’ needs ‘Smart Leaders’ and ‘Smart Staff’ as “Human Resource”. Smart does not mean swanky buildings, or beautification or digitisation alone. The vision of Smart City is providing basic amenities in consonance with statutory obligations as mandated under section 58 of the K.M.C.Act, 1976. Talking about Smart City without paying Minimum Wages, keeping huge arrears of E.P.F contribution and violating labour laws of its own employees is a mockery of the very concept itself “- Mangaluru Municipal Staff Union Members.
Mangaluru: Addressing the media persons during a Press Meet held at Mangalore Press Club, Advocate Vivekananda Paniya-Legal Advisor for Mangaluru Municipal Staff Union (MMSU) said, ” The Union demands immediate stoppage of “contract labour practice” [which is also “unfair labour practice”] in the water supply section of Mangalore city Corporation and absorption or regularisation of 266 employees forthwith. The Union condemns the local self-government | Public body like the Corporation in indulging in such perse illegal “contract labour practice” in spite of the ban imposed by the government of Karnataka in the year 2006.”
He further said, “The Union also demands prosecution of all officers and Contractors who have indulged in such illegal practice. MMSU further demands action against the erring officers who have deliberately failed to take action against the contractors for failing to implement the E.S.I and E.P.F schemes in spite of direction given by the government of Karnataka to this effect. The Union finally demands that until regularisation or absorption, employees should at least be paid equal wages for equal work in the letter and spirit of article 14 of the Constitution as has been done by the Mysore City Corporation to its employees with effective from 2012.
Devi Prasad Shetty-Honorary President, Chitharanjan Bhandary-Convener, Jagadish Gatty-Working President, Yeshwanth-Vice President, and Navinaksha-Secretary of MMSU were also present during the press meet.
The brief background facts of the Issue:
266 employees of water supply department have been working in the corporation for the past 25 years [from 5 to 25 years] continuously as Valve man, Pump Operators, Mechanics, Fitters, Pipeline Cleaners, Office Assistants etc on a monthly wages, which is far the below the minimum wages prescribed by the Government of Karnataka under the Minimum Wages Act.
In fact, these employees are the back bone of the supply and distribution network system of drinking water in the city. Unfortunately, they are denied basic service and social security benefits like ESI, EPF, Minimum Wages, Equal Wages, Minimum Working Hours,Leave Wages etc. They are being victimised by branding them as “Contract Labours” or “Outsourced Workers” etc. by the Corporation which is supposed to be a model employer.
The fact of the matter is that they are regular employees of the corporation and in order to defeat their legitimate statutory rights their salary is being disbursed [ paid] through the “Salary disbursing agents” called as “Contractors”. This is a unique method adopted by the Mangaluru City Corporation as part of its victimisation process to keep these employees as slaves by keeping them under the eternal hope of absorption as a regular employee one day. This has been continuing for more than a quarter of a century!.
Why Prosecution? The government of Karnataka has issued a show cause notice to the Corporation as to why criminal prosecution should not be granted against the previsions commissioner Shanadi Ajith Hegde for violating the Contract Labour [ Abolition and Regulation ] Act, 1972. In spite of this drastic step, the officers at the middle management level are disregarding the mandatory central labour legislation. There has been flagrant violation of the labour laws.
Not SMART way of running corporation: Smart City needs smart leaders and smart staff as “human resource”.Smart does not mean swanky buildings, or beautification or digitisation alone. The vision of smart city is providing basic amenities in consonance with statutory obligations as mandated under section 58 of the K.M.C.Act, 1976. Talking about smart city without paying Minimum Wages, keeping huge arrears of E.P.F contribution and violating labour laws of its own employees is a mockery of the very concept itself.