Non Payment of Wages by City Builder puts Poor Laborers in Tears and Hardship

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Non Payment of Wages by City Builder puts Poor Laborers in Tears and Hardship

Mangaluru: Years ago Mega Residential Complex “Menorah Alexandria” on Lighthouse Rill Road, near St Aloysius College was in the headline news when social activists and Environmentalists had protested that the infrastructure was blocking the view of Arabian Sea and other natural beauty with its concrete structure- but all the efforts of these activist were in vain since no action was taken by the authorities, and the complex kept on adding floors by floors. But this time, “Alexandria” complex management is in the news again for a different reason- and it is kind of serious affecting the life of over 100 laborers and nearly 25 sub contractors, who have been not paid by the builder.

Since last fifteen days work on this project had stopped since these laborers and sub contractors have been protesting near the construction site demanding that the builder pay them their salary/materials payment, amounting in few lakhs. The laborers/sub contractors even staged a protest near the DC office and submitted a memorandum to DC stating that the builder has kept their wages pending for a long time-Years! The memorandum was submitted to the DC seeking redressal of the problems after 15 days of their protest near the site. Apart from laborers and sub contractors, even the suppliers of construction materials had joined in the group while submitting the memorandum.


While the laborers in tears are explaining their ordeal of non payment of their wages since years, on the other hand sub contractors who had supplied building materials to the complex claimed they have been duped in few lakhs of rupees due to deferred payment by the builder- and that half of labor force who most of them hail from North India have left the job and returned back to their hometowns due to lack of payment for their work. Sham {name changed} hailing from Odissa speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “Its been months, nearly a year that I have not been payed properly, sometimes no payment at all. I have my wife and two kids, my parents who depend on my income back home- and they are struggling to make a living, since I have not send any money for months. How can a builder do this to poor laborers like us? I have been struggling with no money in my pocket, just work for free”.

A sub contractor speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The builder owes our company where we supply frames etc, and pending bills are in lakhs. The builder keeps promising that he will settle it soon, but never seems like its happening- He has even stopped visiting the site, and never even answers the phone calls made to him- so we all decided to abstain from work, and since 15 days we have been staging a protest near the site. Hope our grievances and complaints are heard by the concerned authorities so that we can get justice”.

It is learned that most of the laborers and sub contractors are from West Bengal, Orissa, Kerala and other states, and they all come from a minority community and backward classes. The complex is almost 75% completed, and sources reveal that the builder had flouted the construction guidelines of Mangaluru City Corporation, it is alleged by the sub contractors. The next step the laborers and sub contractors want to take is go on a hunger strike, therefore they approached the Police Inspector of Bunder Police station to give them permission and provide security.

According to Yogish, of Tulunadu Rakshana Vedike, an organization supporting the cause of the workers, said that the builder has received many notices from the commercial tax office, and also from MCC and Labour Court for various offences, but he has ignored all of them. Rumours are that the possibility of the present builder {Menorah} handing over his project to the land owner. In the meantime, the president of Credai, D B Mehta in a statement to media has said that delays in projects are on the rise after the downturn in the real estate in 2015. Following which the Union government’s demonetization aggravated it and then the GST and RERA Act was implemented, which put everyone in hardship. However, the flat owners could approach CREDAI and RERA for redressal.

But sadly, in the meantime, it is the poor laborers, sub contractors and building material suppliers who are facing the brunt.

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  1. “…they all come from a minority community and …” – Report.

    Does this ‘minority community’ have a name? Or, is it super secret? I’m pointing this out to show how media has a strange obsession and fear of one particular ‘minority community’. I’m waiting for the day when media gets some courage and starts addressing some of the social issues we face. One has to question why this ‘minority community’ is struggling and finds itself in all wrong places.

    • @Original R.Pai: It amazes me how you are throwing your tantrum only regarding the mention about minority community from the complete report?! I mean, how gullible can you get? Aren’t you appalled by the mess the builder has made in the middle of the city??

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