‘We’re All ONE fighting for Justice with ‘Mangalore ONE’ – Fired Staff
‘We’re All ONE fighting for Justice from ‘Mangalore ONE’ and we will continue our protest and fight until we get our jobs back- Terminated Staff of Mangalore One, a payment centre for utility bills etc
Mangaluru: ‘Mangalore One’ is a one stop destination where nearly 16 services are offered where you can pay electricity bills, water bills, mobile phone bills, property tax, police clearance certificates and so on. Having four branches in the city namely, Lalbagh, Kadri, Lighthouse Hill Road in the City, and one branch in Surathkal, “Mangalore One” has been a convenient place for the citizens to pay their bills without spending much time in long queues at other payment centres. The services will be available 365 days of the year from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. And that’s good on part of Mangalore One. But this time Mangalore One is in the news for a wrong reason, where the employees have come forward with complaints of management harassment and other issues.
Activists of the Nawakarara Hitharakshana Vedike (NHV) along with the nine staff of Mangalore One who were terminated from their jobs for specific reasons held a protest in front of Mangalore One payment centre at Kadri, Mangaluru. They were protesting against the alleged exploitation of its eight women staff by the management. Out of the nine employees at this Kadri branch of Mangalore One, eight are women and one gent- and all of them were fired few days ago.
Nalinakshi, the Manager who was terminated on 25 June 2016 at Mangalore One speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” When I joined the firm in 2010, I was paid Rs 4500, which was raised to Rs 10,000 in 2016 without any benefits. I was terminated from the job for a minor offence which was not intentionally done. Every one makes mistakes, but the management made a big issue out of it in order to get rid of me. I was terminated from the job on 25 June 2016, and after they paid me one month suspension salary, without any incentives. Following my termination, the management under the supervision of co-ordinator Naveen Shetty of Mangalore One got rid of all the rest of the employees for no reason at all. As far as I know Shetty’s decision to terminate these employees is to avoid paying these staff the incentives/benefits once they reach 4-5 years of service, where most of them have been there so long.”
She further said, ” These employees were making only Rs 5419 as of 2016, which is way below the minimum wage of Rs 12-13 Thousand approved by the government. We all worked under harsh conditions at the office, with no rest rooms or no proper dining room. With just half an hour as lunch time, we worked from 8 am- 8 pm, sometime beyond that without extra pay, 365 days a year. When I was carrying the daily collected money which in lakhs, sometimes above Rs 50 lakh, to be deposited in the bank, there was no proper security provided. I used to be nervous carrying such a huge amount of money by myself to the bank. After getting rid of all of us, Shetty has employed new staff from his Bunt community, also his relatives, and also taken help from employees at the other Mangalore One branches. No matter what, we will continue our fight till we get our jobs back, also payment for the lost days of work. We have also taken legal steps thorough our Union lawyer, and also met MLA JR Lobo who has assured that he will do the needful to help us out”.
Also speaking to Team Mangalorean, NHV founder president, BS Chandru said, ” It’s very sad to note that these employees have been treated in such a bad manner, full of harassment and humiliation on the women staff. Many of these women staff were humiliated in front of the customers, and all the employees were terminated for no valid reasons or terminated without any warning or in writing. The management even forced employees Ramya and Acharya to spend time in the battery room for a while with no specific reasons. The management got rid of these employees in order to avoid paying them incentives since most of them were employed since 4-5 years, earning very low income”.
Activist Gerald Towers speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” I have been visiting this Mangalore One facility at Kadri for the last so many years, and have complained about the poor service and pathetic condition of the office, Broken mat, no toilet, no proper working lights etc are among many things lacked at this facility. I was shocked to see other day that two employees Ramya and Acharya sitting in the battery room, which is very much humiliating. Seven other staff who signed as witnesses in a complaint filed against Mangalore One co-ordinator Naveen Shetty in the Kadri East police station by Ramya and Acharya were terminated from their jobs without proper inquiry. The entire office is in a dilapidated condition, which need attention soon – but no one heeds to our complaints”.
Human Rights for Women activist Vijaya Nair speaking to Mangalorean.com said, ” This centre which has nine staff, has not set up an internal complaints committee (ICC). One of the employee, Vidya who got terminated from the job here for signing as a witness worked over nine hours in both shifts like 8am-5pm and 10 am-7pm. Vidya since working there for five years received only Rs 2200-3000, which is way below minimum wage. All these women employees working at this facility feared for their lives with so much money at the office, without a security personnel. The management didn’t care for the safety of these women staff nor bothered about their working conditions.”
Even though the terminated employees have filed a complaint with the Labour Department, and also filed a legal notice through their Union advocate, they are determined to continue their protest and fight until justice is served and also get their respective jobs back.