Contract pourakarmikas’ fight for equal pay – a timeline of events


Over the past decade, contract sanitary workers in Bengaluru have been waging a sustained fight against the contractor mafia which controls the management of garbage generated in India’s thriving metropolis, Bengaluru. The protest intensified last year with more than 5,000 sanitary workers or pourakarmikas striking work over different intervals, forcing the civic municipal body to sit up and take note.

Although in last June, the Karnataka government promised to regularise the services of 11,000 contract pourakarmikas working in the state, the story on the ground has been one of missed deadlines and failed promises. Based on reports published in The Hindu,  here is a timeline of events starting from the first protest organised on Women’s Day 2017:

March 2, 2017
‘We clean the city every day, but go home without pay’
April 15, 2017
‘When we ask for our passbooks, they threaten to throw us out’
April 18, 2017
Supervisor held on charge of assaulting pourakarmikas 
June 12, 2017
Contract pourakarmikas strike work, demand regularisation
A garbage crisis in the offing in Bengaluru
June 13, 2017
State govt. to credit pourakarmikas
BBMP seeks vehicles to run new solid waste management plan
June 14, 2017
BBMP to take over entire gamut of solid waste management
June 15, 2017
Pourakarmikas call off strike
June 23, 2017
Services of 11,000 contract pourakarmikas will be regularised in three months: CM
July 27, 2017
At least 4,000 contract pourakarmikas not paid wages since May
 August 10, 2017
‘5-10% bogus entries of pourakarmikas’
September 26, 2017
Pourakarmikas caught in tug-of-war between BBMP and contractors
(The following articles are by The Hindu’s reporters K.V. Aditya Bharadwaj and Chitra V. Ramani)
November 10, 2017
BBMP begins direct payment of salaries to pourakarmikas – K.V. Aditya Bharadwaj 
December 29, 2017
Direct payment of salary to pourakarmikas put off again  – K.V. Aditya Bharadwaj 
March 13, 2018
No gloves, no fingerprints, no salary for pourakarmikas – Chitra V. Ramani
May 6, 2018
Pourakarmikas still wait for service regularisationChitra V. Ramani
(Photo credit: Bhagya Prakash K.)

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