BANGALORE: In a joint raid conducted by the Labour and Revenue departments on Tuesday at Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO), six unorganised labourers were rescued. They have been identified as Surinder Singh, Radhe Shyam, Sarita, Kamli, Ramvati, and Channu Lal, all natives of Chhattisgarh.
Based on a complaint by Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) with the Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban District and Department of Labour, the officials raided the AWHO project site in Kannamangala on Hoskote Road at around 3.30 pm.
Labourers were denied even minimum wages, police said. Assistant Labour Commissioner Balakrishna told Express, “Acting on the complaint by CITU, the raid was conducted. About 50 workers were not allowed to visit their native place. During our inspection, it was learnt that contractor B L Kashyap was not paying even minimum wages to their labourers. We have recorded the statements of the labourers.”
He added, “The company and the contractor have violated Contract Labour Act, Minimum Wages Act, Building and other constructional workers’ acts. Notices have been served and the guilty will be prosecuted.” Officials said the contractor had paid `68,000 to five labourers whose salary had not been paid for the last 2 months. They were paid `1,000 per head to return to their native place.
12 Hours Work in a Day
“Labourers were made to work for over 12 hours in a day and were not allowed to go out of the construction site. Surendra along with four other labourers escaped from the site on April 1 and approached us. As per the Labour Law, every labourer has to be paid Rs 157 per day. But, during the raids, it was found that they were paid just Rs 50 per week,” said CITU district secretary C Muniraju.