Exploitation of workers: A delegation of CITU met BRO Officials

The Left winged trade union CITU has drawn the attention of Indian Armed Forces’ Border Road Organizations toward the inhuman treatment and exploitation of its workers.

A 30-member delegation of Deepak Project Workers’ Union, belonging to CITU, met the Director of Border Roads Organization, BRO, LG Wankhede at the Shimla head office on Saturday and handed over a twenty-point demand letter to him.  

CITU State President Vijender Mehra, General Secretary Prem Gautam, and Union President Prem Lal informed the BDO that there is a conspiracy going on to privatize the road to be built under BRO from Kaza to Losar in Spiti Valley, which would not be tolerated under any circumstances. 

Alleging to take antiworker steps CITU said that the work has been handed over to a private company, due to which the jobs of hundreds of laborers are in danger.

Union warned that if even a single laborer loses his job, then the laborers would go on strike to protect their jobs. 

BRO despite being the Indian Armed Forces construction wing abides labor laws of the country but laws are not being followed in BRO.

CITU pointed out that  Laws are being violated continuously here. The laborers are not getting their salaries 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 brooms, pickaxes, spades, karandi, and other tools with their own money.

EPF, holidays, encashment, 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. Workers should be given 39 holidays in addition to weekly off as per 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 the hard areas with heavy snowfall, the laborers are not even being given the facility of kerosene and firewood. Shoes, jackets, and gloves are also not being given to laborers to avoid the cold.

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 the laborers under the Labor Welfare Board have been stopped. 

They should be reinstated immediately. The dues or arrears of the increased wages of the laborers should be paid immediately.

The director has assured the union that its demands will be met soon.  He said that initiative would be taken to settle these demands by immediately organizing a meeting under the chairmanship of the company in the jury office of Shimla district.

The union has warned that if the demands of BRO workers are not fulfilled soon, then the union would adopt the path of agitation.  

The delegation included CITU State President Vijender Mehra, General Secretary Prem Gautam, Kuldeep Dogra, Ranjit Thakur, Madan Negi, Union President Prem Lal, Pritam Singh from Kaza Date, Ravi, Dorje Tandup from Tabo Date, Tshering, Shalkhar Date President Lobjung Jambal, Rampal, Tashi  Sonam, Dorje Chokdup, Rajesh Nag, Ranjit Dogra, Satish, Ajay, Baljit Singh, Gyan Singh, Samdo Date President Sonam Chodan, Kaurik President Raptan Dorje, Chhwang Topge, Kesang Chodan, Madan Lal, Poonam, Mane Date Se Gyachho, Kah Date  President Bhup Singh, Zakhir Sen, Sher Singh, Vidya Negi, Naru Sundi, Chatar Singh, Bablu, Kesang, Dawa, etc. were present.

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