Construction workers will hold a protest march to press for their demands including the scrapping of the proposed Mid-Day meal scheme, disbursal of Rs 2 lakh as compensation to families of construction workers who die while on duty and a monthly pension of Rs 3,000. The protest will be held on June 5 from Bandra railway station to the Labour Commissioner’s office in Bandra (East).
According to the Maharashtra Construction Workers Federation, there are over 350 families of deceased construction workers to whom Rs 2 lakh compensation hasn’t been paid. Their other demands include regular monthly payment of Rs 2,000 to these families and interest free loan of Rs 10 lakh and Rs 7 lakh for construction workers in urban and rural areas respectively, to build houses for themselves.
“The Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board had decided in 2014 to give Rs 2 lakh compensation to such families. But the decision hasn’t been implemented yet. Besides, the families are supposed to get Rs 2,000 monthly financial assistance for five years after the death of the worker, but the disbursal is not happening regularly,” said Shankar Pujari, president of the Federation.
Pujari added that at least 1,000 construction workers are likely to take part in the protest on Tuesday. “While the construction workers and their families are struggling to get the basic benefits, the government plans to spend at least Rs 1,000 crore on a Mid-Day meal scheme. The tenders floated for the mid-day meal should be scrapped. The government must focus on ensuring that maximum number of building construction workers get the benefits of existing welfare schemes,” he said.
Officials from the Maharashtra Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board said they have sought a status report from the labour office in Sangli. Most of the issues pointed out by the workers are from Sangli district. “We will take a decision based on the report,” said an official.