Enough of this suffering, the gruesome betrayal; 10 years of despotic rule, 10 dreadful deceptions Part- V

From a pamphlet published by Eddelu Karnataka

Sinking Wages – Labouring classes toil under modern forms of slavery.

Sinking Wages India

What they Promised:

  • Workers’ welfare, respect to labour
  • Respecting and paying homage to municipal workers

What has actually happened:

  • Revocation of all rights and privileges of workers
  • Removal of all rights of unorganised / daily wage / contractual workers. Without any job security, workers are in a precarious situation. Contractual labour is a modern form of slave labour. These labourers are not provided with any benefits and can be hired and fired at will.
  • No job security, no provident fund (PF), no Employee State Insurance (ESI), no pension, no bonus.
  • The salaries of contractual workers is humiliating. The average monthly salary for contractual lecturers with double degrees is around Rs. 8,000 per month.
  • Most municipal workers still endure degrading and harsh work conditions, earning meagre wages as they continue to descend into gutters and keep our cities clean. The cheap drama of Modi’s public ritual of worshipping their feet has brought no dignity to their lives. Municipal workers who clean the streets and sewage on an average earn a pittance of 5,000 rupees per month.
  • Rural and urban women scheme workers serving as ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, and mid-day meal staff on an average receive a low salary of 5,000 rupees per month.
  • Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, workers who spend their whole days on the streets, leaving their homes and hopes, earn an average of 10,000 rupees per month.
  • The livelihood of auto/ taxi drivers is uncertain, and their earnings are also as uncertain as winning the lottery since it all now depends on app-based companies like Ola and Uber.
  • How can labourers survive with such demeaning paltry incomes? How can they manage the sustenance of their families under the burden of rising prices? How can they pay their children’s school fees? In case of illness, they have to resort to taking loans. In addition to all these they have to send back money to their aged parents living in the village. How can they even dream of building their own house?
  • As if this was not enough, this devious government has extended the working hours from 8 hours to 12 hours per day. Until now, working 8 hours a day was an international labour standard that was established 100 years ago as a result of prolonged intense labour struggles. By disregarding international laws and extending the working hours by 4 hours  more the government has paved way  for added exploitation of workers.

Reasons for this:

  • To increase the profits of corporate companies and decrease the expenses of the government.
  • By removing the basic rights of the workers, by reducing employment options and increasing educated skilled labourers, who are unemployed and desperate, they can be forced as underpaid 12 hour working slaves. To add to such, by training few people under useless programmes like skill India just so there are skilled slaves for corporate profits.
  • The availability of experienced and skilled workers who have received training, at cheap wages, will attract foreign investors who will pay part of this dividend from cheap labour to the corrupt government.
  • In simple terms, the policy of the Modi government can be summed up as “Suppress the workers and empower the corporates.”

Eddelu Karnataka is an independent civil society platform and campaign.It is not affiliated with any political party. Its soul is the thinkers, writers and artists who are the conscience keepers of the nation and democracy. The strength of Eddelu is the combination of organizations and grassroots movements of farmers, workers, Dalits, students, youth, women, LGBTQIA movemnts etc., who have been working selflessly for the welfare of the people for many decades, from various communities (Dalit, Tribal, Tribal, Backward Classes, Vokalinga, Lingayat, minority communities and other exploited sections) and it is a broad civil society.

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