Safai Karamcharis In Karnataka

The AICCTU affiliated unions of BBMP Powrakarmikara Sangha, Karnataka Pragatipara Powrakarmikara Sangha and Karnataka Pragatipara Tyajya Sagisuva Vahana Chalakara mattu Sahayakara Sangha have demanded that the special recruitment rules for safai karamcharis issued by the State Government in November 2022 must be withdrawn forthwith.

After the four-day strike in July 2022, the government formed a 15-member committee on 15 July 2022 under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary to the State Government, Urban Development Department, and included representatives of trade unions, including AICCTU. The committee was formed to look into fulfilling the various demands of the safai karamcharis, including the demand to make their jobs permanent.

AICCTU also submitted a report to the chairperson of the committee and to the government after perusing the IPD Salappa Report of 1976, Chandrashekhar Report 2013 and the Report of the National Law School on Safai Karamcharis. However, the same was completely disregarded and the State Government on 19 July 2022 announced recruitment for 11,133 posts of safai karamcharis across Municipal Corporations, Municipalities and Town Panchayats of Bangalore and other districts of Karnataka. AICCTU submitted its objections for the same. It is to be noted that there are about 48,000 safai karamcharis across the state and the government has opened recruitment against only 11,133 posts.

In a meeting of the committee in October 2022, the trade union representatives raised their objections regarding the special recruitment rules to which, the official members of the committee assured that the same will be brought to the attention of the Chief Minister along with the proposal to bring drivers and helpers of solid-waste-management vehicles to be brought under the direct-payment system. But the government has completely gone back on its assurances and has issued the special recruitment rules for 3,673 posts in Bengaluru and 5,533 posts in other districts. This is completely against the welfare and rights of safai karamcharis who have been waging a long battle towards permanent jobs.

AICCTU demands that all existing safai karamcharis be made permanent, and that all attempts to “recruit” must be abandoned. All auto drivers and helpers involved in transport of solid waste management should be brought under direct payment system, subsequently be made permanent.