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In Pictures: Day 1 of the Pourakarmika strike in Karnataka

The strike was organised by AICCTU and the Federation of Pourakarmika Associations of Karnataka.
Thousands of Pourakarmikas across Karnataka went on strike on July 1.

Thousands of Pourakarmikas across Karnataka went on strike on July 1.

Workers have downed tools for better wages and an end to the contract system of employment.

Workers have downed tools for better wages and an end to the contract system of employment.

The strike was organised by AICCTU and the Federation of Pourakarmika Associations of Karnataka. It was supported by leaders of various organisations like CITU, Dalitha Sangharsha Samiti (DSS), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), students and activists.

The strike was organised by AICCTU and the Federation of Pourakarmika Associations of Karnataka. It was supported by leaders of various organisations like CITU, Dalitha Sangharsha Samiti (DSS), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), students and activists.

Contractual employees are deprived of benefits and entitlements. While permanent employees can earn Rs 40,000/month, contractual employees earn Rs 14,000/month for doing the same work. They are also forced to retire without a pension at 60 years of age.

Contractual employees are deprived of benefits and entitlements. While permanent employees can earn Rs 40,000/month, contractual employees earn Rs 14,000/month for doing the same work. They are also forced to retire without a pension at 60 years of age.

Seniority has no bearing on the pay of contract workers. Aged persons who have been sanitation workers for 25 years are also paid Rs 14,000/month.

Seniority has no bearing on the pay of contract workers. Aged persons who have been sanitation workers for 25 years are also paid Rs 14,000/month.

Workers have also demanded an end to the biometric system of attendance. They must punch in at least three times/day or will lose pay for the entire day. Sometimes, the machine does not record the attendance or malfunctions. The worker does not receive pay for that day, with no grievance redressal mechanism in place for corrections.

Workers have also demanded an end to the biometric system of attendance. They must punch in at least three times/day or will lose pay for the entire day. Sometimes, the machine does not record the attendance or malfunctions. The worker does not receive pay for that day, with no grievance redressal mechanism in place for corrections.

A free medical camp was set up for the benefit of workers. Dr Sylvia Karpagam said that the common ailments of workers were joint pain, chest pain, respiratory issues, calcium deficiency, hypertension, gastritis and headaches.

A free medical camp was set up for the benefit of workers. Dr Sylvia Karpagam said that the common ailments of workers were joint pain, chest pain, respiratory issues, calcium deficiency, hypertension, gastritis and headaches.

Some workers do not receive PF payments due to a mismatch in their names in the Aadhar card and BBMP employment records.

Some workers do not receive PF payments due to a mismatch in their names in the Aadhar card and BBMP employment records.

The workers are mostly dalits and adivasis from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The workers are mostly dalits and adivasis from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Several Pourakarmikas acknowledged that their wages and exploitation would have been much worse had it not been for the workers’ unions.

Several Pourakarmikas acknowledged that their wages and exploitation would have been much worse had it not been for the workers’ unions.

Representatives of the workers met with CM Bommai and put forth their demands. He made verbal assurances which were not acceptable to the union leaders. They promised to continue the strike until the government passed written orders to regularise their services.

Representatives of the workers met with CM Bommai and put forth their demands. He made verbal assurances which were not acceptable to the union leaders. They promised to continue the strike until the government passed written orders to regularise their services.

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