Reinstate contract workers, district hospital urged, SK Kanta Holds Press Conference

THE HINDU || GULBARGA : The former Minister S.K. Kanta on Sunday demanded action against the authorities of the Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) for alleged violation of labour laws in engaging group D workers on contract basis and removal of existing contract employees without prior notice.

Mr. Kanta, addressing presspersons here, said that 90 outsourced workers, including those for housekeeping, sanitary attendants and ward assistants who had put in 10 years of service in the hospital, were replaced by new workers after they signed an agreement with a private agency.

Mr. Kanta said that the officials have violated the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, according to which the principal employer should ensure that a registered certificate is procured under the Contract Labour Act if he employs more than 20 employees on contract.

He said that the employees were hired on contract basis in 2008 and were paid Rs. 800 a month, and now, they were getting around Rs. 8,000 per month. Quoting examples, he said that the contractor has not paid salaries for 14 months to several workers. In such cases, it is the duty of the principal employer to make payment to workers if the contractor fails to pay.

Mr. Kanta urged the authorities at the district government general hospital to reinstate the contract workers and to pay them as per minimum wages Act, make available facilities of health benefits, Provident Fund, weekly-off and other facilities provided by Labour Laws, including the Minimum Wages Act, 1948 and Contract Labour Act, 1971.

Accusing the elected representatives of neglecting these workers who were protesting against the injustice done for them, Mr. Kanta said that the most of the workers belong to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and they do not have alternative sources of livelihood.

Mr. Kanta sought immediate intervention by the Labour Department and also legal action against the GIMS Dean for engaging contract workers in place of the existing group D workers by violating the Labour Act.

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