Mangalore: Contract Workers Row: Airport Employees Threaten Indefinite Strike

Mangalore, Oct 18: Mangalore Airport Workers Association organized a dharna at the entrance gate to the local airport on Monday October 17, alleging that seven contract workers discharging duties at the airport had been dismissed from service without any reason.

Addressing the protestors, Krishnanada, leader of Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (Krishnappa faction), warned that an indefinite protest will be launched by the workers if a concrete decision is not taken on the said demand by Monday evening.

Krishnananda noted that a large number of workers have been working at the airport since several years, and that seven among them were unceremoniously removed some time back. “When the association representatives met the airport director and discussed the issue with him, he had promised to take back the dismissed workers. However, this promise has not been fulfilled so far,” he said.

President of the association, Anil Kumar, said that about 350 persons have been working at the airport on contract basis in various departments like loading, cleaning, electrical, etc. He alleged that during the last two months, seven contract workers were dismissed from service without assigning any reasons for this decision.

“Durga Facilities Management Services Pvt Ltd, which gained entry into the airport service recently, has been appointing new workers in place of the local workers. Some of the dismissed workers are from scheduled castes and tribes, while others were people displaced and affected by the land acquisition for the airport. The airport director has overlooked our plea for reappointing the dismissed workers, and has been doing injustice to workers by joining hands with the contracting firm,” he said.

The protestors demanded for the re-absorption of dismissed workers, payment of wages to them for the intervening period, giving importance to the workers already functioning here, and stoppage of harassment by higher authorities. They also wanted immediate end to the tactics of suppression of workers employed by contractors, and to extend all the facilities to which the workers are eligible for as per law.
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