Cease work strike begins, FCI labourers to intensify agitationsIMPHAL | May 20
Contract labourers working at Food Corporation of India (FCI) Godown, Sangaiprou started a cease-work strike today after the concerned authority failed to fulfil their demand to increase labour charges.
The labourers were working under BK Enterprises since March 8 last with only Rs 2 as labour charge for handling or loading and unloading of a 50 kg rice bag. Their demand was that the charge be increased to Rs 6 as they work in a risky environment and face more physical challenge in carrying the rice bags over a height of 24 ft while piling it up in ‘stacks’.
Speaking to media persons, general secretary, CAF & PD Labourers’ Welfare Association (CAF & PDLWA), Romendrajit Moirangcha, said that they do not want to cease their work but they are compelled to do so because of the hard-headedness of the concerned authority. He maintained that they have pleaded the concern authority multiple times for increasing their wages.
However, there was no positive response from them, Romendrajit said and recounted that they already notified the authority of launching cease work strike if their demands are not fulfilled by May 19.
“We are labourers and we also understand that ours is a situation of ‘No work, No pay’. But we are left with no option as we will not be able to survive even if we continue with our work”, he asserted.
The CAF & PDLWA general secretary also cautioned that the labourers will launch various forms of intensified agitations if their demands are not met at the earliest. The labourers at the state godown have also assured that they will take part in the agitations, he maintained while adding that various CVOs are also extending support to their cause and will support in their agitations.
Meanwhile, Gurumayum Bimolkumar Sharma, handling contractor, BK Enterprises, clarified that he has no intention to underpay the labourers and said that he has certain limitations.
He stated that when he accepted the tender of FCI, the carrying charge was lesser than Rs 5 per rice bag. As such, he is not able to pay Rs 6 as loading and unloading charge per rice bag to the labourers, he noted while adding that he is ready to increase the handling charge to Rs 3 per rice bag after he acknowledge the pains the labourers had to go through.
On the other hand, the cease work strike of the labourers has caused serious inconveniences to the normal functioning of FCI.
Interacting with few media persons today at his office, manager in charge, FCI, Sangaiprou, Moirangthem Phalguni said that the daily activities of FCI like transferring rice bags to the State Godown have been interrupted by the strike.
“It is a problem between the contractor and his labourers,” he pointed out while asserting that FCI has nothing to do with it. However, if it continues to affect the functioning of FCI, the FCI authority will be compelled to take up necessary actions, he added.
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