Mid-Day Meal Workers Protest Unpaid Wages and Election Duties

In Mashobra block, the Mid-Day Meal workers convened a crucial meeting today, voicing their mounting grievances over unpaid wages and new election duty mandates. The General Secretary of the workers’ union highlighted that the workers have not received their modest salary of Rs. 3500 for the past two months.

Despite this, the District Commissioner (DC) has ordered these workers to undertake election duties. However, the order conspicuously omits any mention of the daily wages they are entitled to for this additional work. The union emphatically demands that the DC formalize the Rs. 700 daily wage for election duties in writing.

“Our bodies are also made of bones and flesh; we breathe and live like everyone else. We are not bonded laborers,” asserted the General Secretary. The workers are adamant that such one-sided directives are unacceptable, especially when they are already struggling without their due salaries.

The workers’ union has expressed deep disappointment in the government and its representatives for their apparent disregard for the financial struggles of the Mid-Day Meal workers. “How can we support our families with Rs. 3500, which we haven’t even received for two months?” they questioned.

The union further stipulated that if the Rs. 700 per day wage for election duties is confirmed in writing, they will willingly work from 10 AM to 5 PM. Otherwise, they refuse to work without compensation. Additionally, they insist that any extra work must come with additional wages, clearly outlined in the orders.

The workers reminded the authorities of their previous written requests dated 22 September 2023, 26 November 2023, and 16 February 2024, to the Director of Education, urging that Mid-Day Meal workers not be assigned election duties. The union’s message is clear: “Stop this dictatorial approach towards Mid-Day Meal workers.”

If their situation does not improve, the union warned of impending protests, holding the department and administration accountable for any resulting disruptions.

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