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Panchayat library staffs seek minimum wages

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Claude D’Souza

BENGALURU: The State Gram Panchayat Employees’s Association on Tuesday demanded that the government pay minimum wages to over 6500 library supervisors working in gram panchayat libraries.

The employees under the Gram Panchayat are permanent staff working for eight to ten hours a day. But they are paid only Rs 2500 per month, insufficient to manage their expenses.

Minimum wages have not been implemented despite their many requests to the concerned authorities.

“Our request has been denied for the past seven years,” said Chandrashekhar S. Hiremath, President of Shramajeevigala Vedike, an association working for the protection of civil rights of rural people in Karnataka.

“Even when the High Court upheld our view, the BJP-led government did not implement this recommendation, and now the Congress government too appears to have no intention of implementing it,” said Chandrashekhar. “Repeated pleas to the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah went unnoticed,” he added.

To bring the issue to the limelight, the employees have planned a hunger strike. “Over 100 families of the employees will join the hunger strike,” said Chandrashekhar. “We will block the National Highway like the farmers did recently and protest there until we get an answer,” he added.

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