The staff of Karnataka’s premier government hospital, the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute – Victoria Hospital at Bengaluru’s KR Market staged a protest today before the governing body demanding that the workers must be paid promptly and within the first of every month.
The Karnataka General Labour Union is a labor organization that is working for the benefit and welfare of the workers in the state of Karnataka. The organization consists of workers who work in various sectors including the public sector. The organization is affiliated with the national trade union – All India Central Committee of Trade Union (AICCTU). The All India Central Committee of Trade Union led the protests today wherein staff of the hospital including the housekeeping staff, ward attendants, lift operators, data entry operators, and the security staff participated.
All these staffs of the hospital were not paid their salaries last month despite the labor laws mandating that the staff must be paid their salaries by the 8th of every month. The staff complained that since the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMRCI) does not pay these workers on time, they fall into debt cycles to meet their basic necessities including payment of house rents, payments of school fees of their kids, managing expenses of their food and their own health-related expenses amongst others.
The staff and their leaders also complained about the issues that they were facing in the context of ever-increasing prices and allege that under such conditions, non-payment of salaries by the Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMRCI) only makes it much harder for the staff to meet even their basic necessities.
Taking cognizance of the issue when the protests were organized, the administration of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute – The Victoria Hospital has assured the staff that it would immediately initiate the payment of salaries due to the staff and have also undertaken to make payments before 10th of every month. They reasoned that the delay in making payments to the staff was owing to the government not releasing funds in time.
However, it has to be noted that the Supreme Court of India has on several occasions ordered that non-payment of wages and salaries in time amounts to labor exploitation and slavery. Such acts of non-payment of salaries and wages and delays in payment of salaries and wages due to the staff must be understood as a violation of Supreme Court orders.