Sunday, April 26, 2015

‘KENDU LEAF WORKERS BEING EXPLOITED FOR OVER 40 YRS’ Monday, 27 April 2015 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar

Monday, 27 April 2015 | PNS | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
Even though Kendu leaf continues to contribute sizeable revenue to the State exchequer, yet temporary/seasonal Kedu leaf employees like Munshi and Chaprasi remain to be a neglected lot for over 42 years thanks to the negligence of successive Governments.
Trade union leader and Odisha Asthayee Kend Leaf Employees’ Association advisor Pramod Mishra said this to mediapersons here on Friday.The Kendu leaf Act passed in 1973 provisioned for three months work to Munsi and Chaprasis engaged in Kendu leaf department. It had provision to give ‘Work Charge’ status to other temporary seasonal staffs over a certain period time for which the responsibility was given to respective appointing authorities, Mishra informed.
Moreover, a review was undertaken in May 15 1997 and the decision of 1973 was reaffirmed. According to the decision those temporary Kendu leaf worker who had worked for 240 days in a year and for 10 years, they would be given Work Charge status.
While, the present Government has already accorded Work Charge status to construction labourers of RD and other departments, temporary Kendu leaf workers are still left out, Mishra lamented. He said and RTI information revealed that while these employees were paid wages for one and half-a-month only, official records show that they were paid for two and half-a-month. The excess payment shows huge corruption by Kenu leaf department officials, Mishra alleged.
Meanwhile, the Muncis and Chaprasis, who had been staging a cease-work agitation to press for ‘Work Charge’ demand since April 17, called off the same on April 22 following a Government circular that promised to give work for three months them and assurance of considering Work Charge status demand of 1,071 temporary Kendu leaf employees.
“We called off our strike as the Government admitted one of our demands. We have given 45 days for fulfilment of our all demands. If the demands aren’t met, we would take to the street again,” said Mishra.

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