Delegation of the Border Roads Organisation’s (BRO) Labourers’ Union of Northeast Saturday met Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram in New Delhi demanding job protection in Tribal area. The union’s head office is at Parvati Nagar in Sonitpur district of Assam.
Leki Tsering, president of the union told Northeast Now from New Delhi that the Northeast zone, since its inception in May 7, 1960, has been engaging casual paid labourers in various works, including construction of roads, buildings and different technical jobs in the region.
About 35 to 40 per cent of Scheduled Tribes are working in entire India in all the projects since 1960. Now the Scheduled Tribe workers need job protection and other benefits as scheduled Tribe benefits acts.
He said that they need to be protected from exploitation and discriminated from their constitutional right, Tsering said.
Presently, more than 90,000 casual paid labourers are working under Border Roads Organisation. The labourers are engaged like tool. They are engaged through muster roll systems for 6 month only with one day break systems to avoid regularization of service. They were working at the highest altitude more than 15000 feet in various bordering place.
The organization also submitted a 14 point memorandum urging their demand which is neglected since long decade by the Border Roads Organisation in the (North Eastern Region).
Since then, the union has been fighting for the members’ rights, including regularization of their temporary posts. However, even after the repeated pleas to the BRO authorities, no action was taken till date because of their lackadaisical attitude.
The union have 50 thousand workers in the Northeast Region in various sectors for constructing the roads in the border area. The Central Labour Commissioner gave assurance to the Union and discussed the matter with the ministry, he said.
The Union demanded to grant of skilled category status for casual and temporary status scheme as per ministry of personal public grievances & make pension effective from September 1 in 1993 , and ensure payment of minimum wages of Rs 18000.00 per month, Tsering said .
The delegates also met Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju at his office with the same issues.