Contract labourers working at Raichur Thermal Power Station staged a demonstration at Tipu Sultan Gardens near the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Tuesday putting forth a set of demands including the regularisation of their services.
They also took out a procession from Ambedkar Circle raising slogans against the thermal plant and the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited for “deliberately ignoring” their demands. The agitation was organised under the banner of RTPS Contract Labourers’ Association, affiliated to Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.
“We had staged a demonstration outside RTPS in Shaktinagar a week ago. We have also registered our protest by raising slogans before entering the power station and after completing the work. Since the RTPS and KPCL top brass chose to ignore us, we are protesting in the district headquarter to drag the attention of Deputy Commissioner,” T. Veerappa, association’s general secretary, said.
He warned that if the issues were not addressed even after the Deputy Commissioner’s intervention the agitation would be intensified and the district administration and the management of the thermal plant and the power corporation would have to be responsible for all unwarranted consequences.
The labourers said that nearly half of the sanctioned posts in the plant were vacant as the vacancies created by natural and voluntary retirements and untimely death were not filled. They demanded that the power corporation fill vacancies giving preferences to experienced contract labourers. “Since the power corporation has not maintained the service records of contract labourers, many employees are deprived of service seniority. A committee with Trade Union representative as one of the members should be constituted to identify such labourers,” a labourer said.
A memorandum was submitted to the office of Deputy Commissioner. Their demands included offering a regular job to a family member in case of death of a contract labourer on duty, implementation of equal pay for equal work, giving priority to contract labourers, locals and Kannadigas in the fresh appointments, extending facilities such as leaves, canteen, medical, retiring rooms and weekly off to contract labourers, extending production and other incentives, transport facilities to contract labourers and allotting unoccupied labour quarters to contract labourers.