Raipur:In the early hours of Saturday, the police applied force on the contract workers of the Electricity Department, who were protesting at the designated site near Budha Talab for more than a month, demanding regularisation for more than a month. About 41 workers were arrested and taken to the jail premises. The agitators were trying to gherao the Chief Minister’s residence since Friday and when a group of agitators reached the Smart City office a little ahead of the protest site, they were stopped by the police. The angry agitating contract workers sat on the road and spent the whole night on the road.
Citing that the commuters were facing difficulties due roadblock by the agitating workers, the police on Saturday morning tried to remove and send them back to the protest site but the agitators did not agree. The police then took those leading the agitation into custody by force and sent them straight to the jail premises.
They demanded regularization of 1500 contractual workers. The contractual employees allege that 26 contractual employees have died on duty, but the company did not pay them compensation. SImilarly some have become permanent disabled. Now the contractual employees want to talk to the Chief Minister directly on their issue as they are cheated by the others.
On Saturday morning, they tried to move towards CM House and were stopped by the police force.
According to Electricity Distribution Company, an attempt was made to recruit them through direct recruitment. A provision of giving thirty points bonus was made in this case, but a petition was filed in the High Court on this and on March 7, the High Court dismissed the entire recruitment process itself and questioned the number being given. That the salary of contract employees was increased from Rs 8000 to Rs 13000, while the compensation in case of death in the line of work, which was earlier five lakhswas increased to fifteen lakhs.
Meanwhile, the electricity company moved the Labour Court on March 28 and sought suspension of the strike. After hearing both the sides, the Labour Court ordered on April 12 to suspend the strike and return to work.
He contract workers are not in a mood to surrender. They are insisting on meeting Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.