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Beedi workers says no to online scholarship method for children: stages protest

  • Published in Moodabidri
Moodbidri: Beedi workers staged a protest on Monday in front of beedi workers hospital, raising objection for granting the scholarship of their children through online.
District president of beedi workers association Sadashiva Das addressed the protestors and said that the online method will trouble the workers of rural areas as they don’t know how to use online method. It would waste their time and money both. He demanded for the same old method that is to give it in the school itself.

Protestors accused the Union and state government that they are lobbying for corporate sectrors and playing with the lives of beedi workers.

The protestors handed over the plea to District beedi welfare trust doctor Nivedita.

CITU regional chief sec. Ramani, dist committee members Radha, Girija and others were present.

BJP workers meet at Adoor

  • Published in Kerala
Badiadka: Delampady gram panchayat level party workers meet of BJP was held at Adoor.

The program was inaugurated by BJP state secretary V.V Rajan. President of BJP panchayat committee president Gangadhar C. presided over the program. State party vice president Pramila C. Nayak, district vice president Nanjal Kunhiraman were present.

The workers thanked central government for releasing Rs.6.85 lakhs to install metal compounds on the border of the forest to overcome the menace of elephants.

Secretary Narayana Talpachery welcomed.


Ban on Maggi: 15,000 workers made jobless

  • Published in National
Moga: Around 1,500 workers involved in manufacturing of Maggi in India have been 'impacted' by the stoppage of production after ban of the instant noodles.

Besides, suppliers have also been hit by the Maggi ban and Nestle India's largest supplier of spices, Moga-based Paras Spices Ltd, has already ended services of "some workers" out of the 200 temporary employees it has.

Nestle India hasn't fired any of its permanent workers yet and is engaging them in different activities but it hasn't taken a long-term view on their future in case the ban on Maggi prolongs.

"We have 115 workers who have been working on the Maggi line at the Moga plant. After the stoppage of Maggi production, we have redeployed some of them to other units, while we are engaging others in training activities and team building exercise," Nestle India Factory Manager (Moga) Satish Srinivasan said.

He said none of the permanent workers involved in manufacturing of Maggi at the Moga plant have been retrenched. According to a senior company official, Nestle India has about 1,500 permanent workers who were directly involved in Maggi production across five plants in India.

"They have also been redeployed, engaged in other activities and are in a way impacted," the official said, however, adding that there has been no job cuts.

On the future of these workers, the official said the company hasn't taken a long-term view as it is "engaging with authorities to resume Maggi production at the earliest". Besides Nestle India, the Maggi ban has also affected its suppliers.

Paras Spices Ltd is already looking for new customers after ban on Maggi.

"We have about 200 temporary workers, while some of them have been asked not to come, some have been asked to report only twice or thrice a week," Paras Spices Director Paras Budhiraja said.

He said the company, which has an annual turnover of Rs. 115 crore, was supplying about 45 per cent of its production to Nestle India.

"We were supplying around 200 tonnes of spices per month to Nestle. That has been affected. Now, we are trying to find new customers and in future we would try to reduce large dependence on a single client," Mr Budhiraja said.

Currently, Nestle India is in the process of recalling and destroying Maggi noodles. Yesterday, it had stated that the company was in the process of destroying Maggi worth Rs. 320 crore. It is undertaking the destruction process at five locations in India, including one in Haryana.

The company expects to complete the process of recall and destruction in 40-45 days.

Central food safety regulator FSSAI had banned Maggi earlier this month, saying that the instant noodles was unsafe and hazardous for human consumption after finding lead in excessive levels and presence of taste enhancer monosodium glutamate.


DC visis Bantwal Taluk office: Irked over laziness of the workers

  • Published in Bantwal
Bantwala: District deputy commissioner A B Ibrahim unexpectedly visited Bantwal taluk office on Thursday March 5. He was deeply frustrated with the way the works are going on in the taluk office and ordered the officers to make it right before Monnday evening or else they will be suspended.

DC visited to the taluk office as he had received many complaints from the public about the arrogant attitude of the officers here and took a task on them. He examined the each department and irked over the number of pending files in every department. As all the officers failed to answer his questions angered DC threatened them to suspend from duty.

He also dissatisfied over the fact that useless things were filled in the office more than things that were needed. He shouted on the officers for piling up useless things like computer CPUs, electronics items, card board sheets etc.

He then called the sub tahashildar to the Tahashildar office and ordered him to work on Saturday and Sunday and finish it before Monday evening and dispose the files. Inspect the work of case workers and submit a report within 15 days. Get rid of all the useless items piled up in the office. Suspension letter will be ready if you fail to do all these works, DC threatened.

Exclusive construction academy coming up near Doddaballapur

  • Published in Karnataka

Minister of State for Labour P.T. Parameshwar Naik on Monday said the Karnataka Labour Welfare Board has plans to provide quality education to the children of construction workers in the State, starting with those in city corporation limits, from the new academic year.

For this, two options are being examined: direct admission to well-known residential schools, and the board paying their fees, or creating infrastructure for state-of-the-art schools and allowing private institutions to impart education there. A decision on it would be taken soon, Mr. Naik, who is also the chairman of the board, said.

“We will start with city corporation limits and later extend the scheme across the State to bring these children on a par with others,” he said. The board has been reimbursing tuition fee of these children for all courses, besides extending scholarships of various amounts. The board is also in the process of building a full-fledged construction academy and has earmarked Rs. 256 crore for it. A 20-acre-plot has been identified in Doddaballapur taluk.

The academy would focus on improving the working conditions of workers, enhancing their skills, among other aspects, he said.

‘Start special schools’

Bengaluru Special Correspondent reports: The High Court on Monday suggested to the State that it would be advisable to start special residential schools for the children of migrant labourers as the State said that around 15,000 children of migrant labourers are still out of school in Karnataka.

A Division Bench comprising Justice K.L. Manjunath and Justice P.B. Bajanthri made the suggestion during the hearing of a PIL petition, which the court had suo motu taken up based on newspaper reports on out-of-school children in 2013.

Privatization of ports: Workers to go on strike

  • Published in Mangaluru
Mangaluru: Port workers have threatened to go on indefinite strike from March 9 opposing the union finance minister, Arun Jaitley's initiatives to privatize ports.  

As per the finance minister's proposals, 12 main ports in the country, Kandla, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Murmagoa, New Mangaluru, Kochi, Chennai, Ennore, VO Chidambaranar port, Visakhapatnam, Paradeep and Kolkatta, will be brought under private domain in phases. They will be managed by companies registered under Companies Act.

All India Port Workers Association secretary, Uday Choudhury, termed the move as measure of selling them off to private companies and said that the port workers will go on indefinite strike from March 9 onwards to register their opposition to this proposal.


Exploited Indian workers in US awarded $14 million

  • Published in World
Washington: After seven long years, five Indian 'guest' or temporary workers who were allegedly defrauded and exploited in a labour trafficking scheme have won $14 million in compensatory and punitive damages by a US court.

The workers were allegedly exploited by Signal International, an immigration lawyer and an Indian labour recruiter who lured hundreds of workers to a Mississippi shipyard with false promises of permanent US residency.

The "historic verdict" by a federal jury came Wednesday after a four-week trial before US District Judge Susie Morgan in New Orleans, according to the workers lawyers.

The jury ruled that Signal International, New Orleans lawyer Malvern C. Burnett and India-based recruiter Sachin Dewan engaged in labour trafficking, fraud, racketeering and discrimination.

The jury also found that one of the five plaintiffs-Jacob Joseph Kadakkarappally, Hemant Khuttan, Andrews Issac Padaveettiyl, Sony Vasudevan Sulekha and Palanyandi Thangamani-was a victim of false imprisonment and retaliation.

"The defendants exploited our clients, put their own profits over the lives of these honourable workers, and tried to deny them their day in court," said lead attorney Alan Howard of Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC).

"But they persevered and after seven long years have received the justice they so well deserve."

"This historic verdict puts American companies on notice that if they exploit the flaws in our temporary worker programme, they will be held accountable and punished," said Chandra Bhatnagar, co-counsel in the case and staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Human Rights programme.

According to SPLC, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Signal used the US government's H-2B guest worker programme to import nearly 500 men from India to work as welders, pipefitters and in other positions to repair damaged oil rigs and related facilities.

The workers each paid the labour recruiters and a lawyer between $10,000 and $20,000 or more in recruitment fees and other costs after recruiters promised good jobs, green cards and permanent US residency for them and their families.

Most sold property or plunged their families deeply into debt to pay the fees.

When the men arrived at Signal shipyards in Pascagoula, Mississippi, beginning in 2006, they discovered that they wouldn't receive the green cards or permanent residency that had been promised.

Signal also forced them each to pay $1,050 a month to live in isolated, guarded labour camps where as many as 24 men shared a space the size of a double-wide trailer.

None of Signal's non-Indian workers were required to live in the company housing.

Together, the H-2B visa status, the high debt, the poor conditions at the labour camp and the discriminatory treatment and disparagement based on their race or nationality led the men to feel trapped, SPLC said.

In March 2007, some of the SPLC's clients were illegally detained by Signal's private security guards during a pre-dawn raid of their quarters in Pascagoula.

Two were detained for the purpose of deporting them to India in retaliation for complaining about the abuses and meeting with workers' rights advocates.

One worker who is a plaintiff in a separate suit was so distraught he attempted suicide, SPLC said.

Source: IANS

Workers go 5 months without pay

  • Published in Saudi Arabia
Jubail: Fifty-four Asian workers — 34 Indians and 20 Nepalese — have lodged a complaint with the Jubail labor office against their sponsor, Khaled Fahad Shaddy Est., an Abqaiq-based manpower company, for not paying them their salaries and detaining them in the country against their will.

According to the workers, while their sponsor was taking them back to Abqaiq from Jubail after having completed a project there, 47 of them stayed back, and with the assistance of their embassies' help desks in Jubail, filed a complaint with the Jubail labor office stating that they had not been paid their salaries for five months and that they wanted to go home on a final exit. They said that they had completed two or three years working for the same company but were not allowed to go back to their country.

In the meantime, the other workers were deputed to another construction project in Jubail. 

Saifudheen Pottassery, an Indian national, said that when they first filed their case in Jubail, they were advised to make their complaint in Abqaiq as their sponsor is based there.
“We explained to the office how difficult it is for poor workers to attend to a case being heard in Abqaiq while staying in Jubail,” he said, adding that the labor officer was understanding and agreed to register their case in Jubail.

The workers said that they were visited by embassy volunteers in their labor camps and that they told them of their plight. Some of the workers’ passports and iqamas had expired but the sponsor had not bothered to renew them, they complained.

“The sponsor appeared at the Jubail labor office on Nov. 10 and Nov. 16 and asked for a settlement under which each worker will get two months' salary and an exit visa. They agreed to the sponsor’s demand in an attempt to solve the issue and exit the country, but the sponsor did not come back and they are still waiting,” Pottassery said. 

The workers told Arab News, that they had recently been asked to evacuate the labor camp and were now staying in Jubail at their own expense.

They have appealed to the Indian and Nepalese missions to follow up on their case and expedite the process in the Jubail labor office.
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