On the occasion of Labour Day, the Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Movement highlighted the plight of underpaid need-based and consolidated employees on the frontlines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and urged the Health Department to adhere to the central Minimum Wages Act (MWA).
Information rights and accountability activist Raja Muzaffar Bhat said that Labour Day — commemorated on 1 May every year — was reminder of the fact that the world is built on the contribution of workers who them deserve equal respect.
“Paying ₹500 per month to health workers who are COVID warriors is an insult and injustice to them,” he said. “We must salute all workers who work tirelessly for us especially the frontline COVID warriors of the J-K Health Department like consolidated and part time sweepers , attendants, drivers, HDF workers who are not even paid wages as per Minimum Wages Act (MWA),” said Bhat.”These people are risking lives in this dreaded pandemic and the Govt is paying them wages as low as ₹500-800 per month. This is complete injustice.”
Bhat urged the J-K administration, particularly Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the region’s Chief Secretary, to look into the matter.
“I also urge upon the government to confirm the services of National Health Mission employees as well as those whose future seems bleak as they have no job security at all even after rendering their services for the government from last 15 or more years.”