CITU delegation meets CS

Port Blair, Oct 28: A delegation of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Andaman & Nicobar State Committee met Mr Chetan B. Sanghi, Chief Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Administration on Friday and submitted a memorandum containing various issues concerning the workers and employees functioning both in the government and private sector in the islands. The CITU delegation urged the Chief Secretary to ensure that all the welfare labour laws particularly those for the employees of shops and establishments are implemented in the islands in true letter and spirit. CITU leaders brought to the notice of the Chief Secretary that some of the departments under the Admn which are yet to implement the Admn’s order dated 22nd Sept 2017 to extend the benefit of 1/30th of pay plus DA scheme to daily rated mazdoors working under it. PMB, Education, DHS, IP&T are some of the departments. Pointing out to the Supreme Court judgements in a number of cases which had laid down rules that contract employees should be paid the “wages at the minimum of the pay scale (at the lowest grade in the regular pay scale) extended to regular employees holding the same post”, CITU leaders informed the Chief Secretary that in A & N Islands, even government departments pay only a pittance of money for contract employees including highly qualified persons like Engineers, doctors, IT staff, teachers, etc. CITU demanded equal pay for equal work principle should be followed in the A & N Admn also.
Referring to the unending issues relating to the employees and workers in the Port Management Board, the CITU delegation brought to the notice of the Chief Secretary that the issues are pending for the last few years due to the anti-working class attitude of the PMB authorities. The Incentive Wages introduced in 1975 following an agreement reached between the Workers’ Unions and ALF and subsequent approval of the Govt. of India and A & N Admn were stopped from May, 2017 arbitrarily by the PMB and when the same was released to the workers on the intervention of Lt Governor, the method of calculation was changed intentionally and only a paltry amount was paid to the workers for the period from May, 2017 to June, 2018. Similarly, Financial Upgradation under the MACP Scheme is kept pending for the last three years without any reason. 150 posts of workers in ALF and Cargo Section of PMB are lying vacant and there is shortage of manpower in the stevedoring work at the Harbour.
CITU delegation brought to the notice of the Chief Secretary that a large number of applicants in each department are waiting for compassionate ground appointments. No steps are taken by the respective departments to fill up the compassionate ground quota posts. CITU leaders informed the Chief Secretary that nearly ten thousands of posts are lying vacant in various departments under the Administration (including workcharged establishment of APWD) and said that repeated assurances and hollow promises by the authorities did not yield any result so far. Continuous monitoring in this field is lacking and visible lack of interest is there in all the departments. CITU leaders informed the Chief Secretary that even the result of recruitment examination conducted for filling up of more than 1000 erstwhile Group D posts is yet to be declared.
CITU delegation brought to the kind notice of the Chief Secretary that Administration and some of the subordinate departments show scant respect to the orders of courts and orders issued by Govt. of India relating to the workers. Supreme Court Order on regularization of DRMs who were working prior to 1996 is not being implemented in the islands particularly by the Forest Department. Labour Court Awards are also dishonoured and workers are dragged to higher courts on appeal by the departments. CITU stated in the Memorandum that while the Govt of Puducherry and Govt. of NCT of Delhi have formulated schemes for regularization of Contract/DRM employees/workers, no such scheme has been formulated in these islands, because of which thousands of daily rated/contract workers working in various departments are deprived of the regular job. CITU requested the Chief Secretary to look into this matter favourably.
CITU delegation informed the Chief Secretary that hundreds of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers are working in the Anganwai centres in the islands. They are being utilized for various developmental works of the Govt. of India besides their normal duty. CITU demanded that these workers should be extended with the minimum pay scale applicable to government employees. The Chief Secretary assured the CITU delegation that he will examine the demands contained in the Memorandum and take appropriate favourable action on each issue. The CITU delegation comprised Mr M. Boominathan, President, Mr B. Chandrachoodan, General Secretary, Mr S. Chinnaiah, Treasurer, Mr PK Khalid, Mr BC Bhattacharjee, Vice President and Mr Mohan.

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