Plea to ensure minimum wage for sanitary workers in Kanniyakumari

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The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has sought a report from the Kanniyakumari Collector on a public interest litigation petition which sought a direction to authorities to ensure minimum wage to sanitary workers in the district.

A Division Bench of Justices P.N. Prakash and R. Hemalatha sought the report while hearing the petition filed by Brusho Kingsley Solomon Dhas of Kanniyakumari district, who complained of inaction on the part of the authorities in enforcing the minimum wage for the sanitary workers.

The petitioner said there were 51 town panchayats in the district, and for administrative reasons they were not appointing staff and instead, they were engaging private contractors to supply manpower.

He said the minimum wage for sanitary works was fixed at ₹ 615 per day, but it was not being distributed. The contractors were either not providing safety equipment to the sanitary workers or were deducting the charges from their wages.

He said contracts should be given after framing proper tender conditions, which should ensure that sanitary workers got the minimum wage without any deduction of ESI and EPF. The workers should be paid when they took leave for minimum permissible days, he said.

The petitioner said he had sent a representation to the authorities seeking their intervention in the issue, but no action was taken in this regard. The court adjourned the hearing by two weeks.

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