In the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), the workers are exploited but the recognised union BMS and Regional Labour Commission (Central) are hands in glove to protect the ill practices of the RSP management, alleged representatives of the Rourkela Shramik Sangh (RSS) and the Gangpur Mazdoor Manch (GMM) here on Sunday.
Citing the example of death of contract worker, Kapil Mahato, in a fatal accident inside the plant, GMM general secretary Gopal Das said the deceased was electrocuted while working in the Power Distribution Department on June 26. While undergoing treatment in serious condition, he succumbed.
As per existing rule, one of his heirs should get a job in the plant and after the intervention of RSS and GMM leaders initially the RSP management agreed to give offer letter to the spouse of the deceased. But later, the RSP management backtracked, he said.
While inquiring, it was known that instead of giving offer letter, the RSP management in connivance with the recognized union BMS has set up a committee to inquire the actual cause of death though it was a clear-cut accident case, Das said further.
Due to the apathetical attitude of the RSP management the body of the deceased was kept in the morgue house for four days and tremendous pressure from RSS and GMM only made the management give offer letter with a condition that after post mortem report, the final letter will be issued, Das told.
Das further said the RSP management instead of following the minimum wage fixed by the Central Government has been following the minimum wage of the State Government.
The actual daily wage for an unskilled labourer is Rs 421.15. But contractor pays Rs 200-Rs 220 per day despite repeated complaints before the RSP management and the Labour Department.
Similarly, the labourers are losing their ESI and PF benefits, he alleged.
Talking of the agony of the regular workers of the plant, RSS general secretary Prasant Behera said till September, 2014, the workers were getting Daily Production Incentive Scheme (DPIS). But that was stopped since October, 2014 after the BMS became recognised. Besides many other benefits of the workers have been curtailed.
Though the wage revision has been due since January 1, 2017, the RSP has been silent on the matter.
The health services in the IGH has totally collapsed and the RSP management is least bothered to provide education to the wards of the workers. If these issues are not addressed soon then both RSS and GMM will launch agitation in coming days, Das warned.