JAMMU, Apr 6: The chain hunger strike launched by the PHE workers in support of their demands reached the 5th consecutive day here today.
The protest dharna, under the banner of PHE Workers Welfare Association is continued at BC Road office complex of the PHE department. These agitating workers are demanding release of wages of all sorts of workers CP/ consolidated/ temporary workers at the rate of Rs 125 per day, payment of wages before 5th of every month regularly, clearance of backlog wages of the workers, regularization of daily rated workers who have completed five years of service and transfer of Class-IV employees within the sub-division.
They further demanded that left out categories be incorporated in SRO 59, the widow of the deceased daily rated workers be engaged in the department on compassionate grounds and the technical grade be given to the employees having such qualification. They condemned the higher authorities in the department for not taking note of the demands being projected by the employees/ workers. President of the Association Bakshi Singh urged the PHE Minister to solve the pending issues of the PHE workers otherwise, workers will be bound to launch ‘Kam Chor Hartal’ from April 20 for 24 hours, for which State Government will be responsible.
Addressing the workers, Subash Verma provincial general secretary of the Association alleged that Executive Engineer PHE Division Akhnoor has been forcing the workers to get the wages at the old rate of Rs 500, 700, 800 etc while these workers have already been paid at the rate of Rs 125 on earlier occasions. He apprehended something fishy behind the scheme of things and asked the workers to turn down the offer of Executive Engineer because it was most unfair and unjustified. He alleged that workers have been facing exploitation at the hands of such officers at the helm of affairs.
The other senior members of the association namely, Lal Chand, Ramesh Chander, Raskesh Kumar, Sardari Lal, Bishamber Nath, Ram Parkash, Vijayant Kumar and Mumtaz Ali also addressed the gathering. Those who sat on chain hunger strike included Vijay Kumar, Paritam Lal, Ajit Lal, Ganesh Raj and Chua Ram.