CITU Himachal handed over a twenty-point demand letter to Commander BRO for better working conditions for laborers

A 16-member delegation of Deepak Project Workers’ Union, belonging to CITU, met the Commander of Border Roads Organization, BRO, Mr. DN Dahat at his office Zuri and handed over a twenty-point demand letter to him. The BRO Commander has assured the union that the demands will be met soon. CITU State President Vijender Mehra, Secretaries Kuldeep Dogra, Madan Negi and Union President Prem Lal have said that the BRO Commander has assured that despite handing over the BRO road from Kaza to Losar to a private company, not a single laborer will get a job. Will not be fired from and his job will remain unchanged. Neither there will be retrenchment of any laborer nor there will be any salary cut. The commander assured that work would be done to ensure the residences of the laborers, laying of new power lines, more water tanks, additional vehicles for traffic, construction of new toilets and bathrooms, payment of outstanding arrears and bonus, salary holiday, jackets, shoes, The facility of making gloves available, giving salary according to the trade, working tools, kerosene and wood fuel etc. will be made available immediately. He said that the workers discharged after the year 2019 will be reinstated in a systematic manner. He said that the demands of gratuity, EPF, bonus, holidays etc. received by the laborers under the labor laws would be resolved by raising them at the appropriate forum. He assured employment and compensation to a family member of Purna Chand who lost his life while on duty in Basantpur.

Vijender Mehra and Kuldeep Dogra have warned that if the demands of the workers are not fulfilled, the movement will intensify. He said that the labor laws of the country are continuously being violated in BRO. EPF, holidays, medical facilities, gratuity, retrenchment allowance, and facilities on notice are not being given to the workers. Bonus is also not being given as per rules. They should be given 39 holidays in addition to the weekly off as per the rules. The laborers do not have housing facilities. The condition of the accommodation provided is pathetic. The laborers are not even provided with electricity, toilets, bathrooms, and water facilities in many places. There is no proper facility of vehicles for laborers to go on duty and for their children to go to school in remote hilly areas. Thousands of laborers working in these remote areas are neither being given free ration from the department’s welfare fund nor are they being provided ration through ration cards. In these areas with heavy snowfall, the laborers are not even being given the facility of kerosene and firewood. The laborers are also not being given shoes, jackets and gloves to protect them from the cold. The laborers are not getting salary on time. Leave is not being given to reach the remotely located banks. They are not getting a salary according to the trade. They have to buy broom, pickaxe, spade, shovel, karandi and other working tools from their own money. Due to lack of vehicles, he has to report for duty at six in the morning instead of eight in the morning. After the year 2019, many laborers have either been retrenched or discharged without any reason. The benefits of stipend, marriage, death, medical and pension etc. received by laborers under the Labor Welfare Board have been stopped. They should be reinstated immediately. The arrears or arrears of the increased wages of the laborers should be paid immediately.

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