PMC failing to take care of its own?

May 14, 2014, 06:59 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Assistant Labour Commissioner summoned department heads of the civic body yesterday for employing around 2,000 contractual workers, in violation of the Contract Labour Act

Acting on a complaint, Pune Assistant Labour Commissioner B R Deshmukh summoned all PMC department heads to his office yesterday for allegedly flouting the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, and having nearly 2,000 people working for them on a contract basis without the proper documentation.

PMC employees
PMC employees leaving the Labour Commissioner office after the hearing yesterday. Pic/Mohan Patil

“While appointing contractual labour, being a principal employer, PMC should have a Registration Certificate (RC) and the concerned contractor should have a license to be eligible to provide workers to the departments of the civic body. However, prima facie it appears that both these documents are missing,” Deshmukh told mid-day.

Asked what action can be initiated against the PMC for these lapses he said, “Our probe is on. The next hearing on the matter will be on May 26.” Deshmukh is acting on a complaint received by General Secretary of Bharatiya Majdur Sangh, Deepak Kulkarni. “Despite many flaws, the PMC has been running the contract labour system for many years.

No worker gets the minimum expected salary according to the Contract Labour Act or provident fund benefits. Most of the contract workers don’t receive their salary through their bank account and their salary slips don’t mention deductions in salary. All this is nothing but a violation of the Contract Labour Act,” Kulkarni said.

Think attendance
Despite the assistant labour commissioner sending written orders to all department heads, including the PMC Commissioner, not a single department head was present for the hearing yesterday. They sent clerks instead. Around 10 PMC employees, representing various departments, were present for the hearing.

Across the board

The PMC has currently employed contract workers in its anti-encroachment, garden, property tax, health and Local Body Tax (LBT), security, water supply, press, road, statistics and vehicle depot departments.

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