The National Commission for Safai Karamcharis has called for a hike in the wages of safai karamcharis of Meghalaya, who are among the lowest paid in the country.
National Commission for Safai Karamcharis member Jagadish Hiremani said that the Central Labour Commission’s recommendation of a worker’s daily wage stands at Rs 650.
“We have asked the State Government to give at least Rs 300 as the minimum daily wage to a worker. We have asked the Government to implement the minimum wages within a month,” Hiremani added.
He said that there are 1,800 safai karamcharis in the five municipal boards of the State. There are an additional 250 permanent workers. Moreover, there are several workers engaged in the private sector.
The Labour Department has notified Rs 300 as the minimum wage of an unskilled worker in the State. Hiremani said at present, the workers get Rs 240 daily as the minimum wage.
Hiremani said the minimum wage needs to be reviewed every year. In case that is not done, it should be reviewed at least once in five years, he added.
He further stated that several items like raincoats, gumboots, gloves, etc., are not being provided to workers on a timely basis. Several workers have complained that they receive the items only once a year.
“The State Government has not been able to utilise the funds earmarked for these workers for several years and the funds have been returned to the Centre. We have sanctioned Rs 1 crore for these workers. We will discuss with the State Government how best this fund needs to be utilised for the benefit of the workers,” Hiremani added.