Lekha Adavi

Labour Snippets – November 2023

Supreme Court Directions to eradicate manual Scavenging
The Supreme Court has issued a slew of directions to ensure the complete eradication of manual scavenging, while noting that a large segment of population in bondage have been sytematically trapped in inhuman conditions. The Court also enhanced the compensation in case of manual scavenging deaths from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 30 lakhs.

Institutionalisation of Gender Pay Gap

The ‘gender pay gap’ has been brought back into attention with the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences being awarded to Claudia Goldin who has worked half a century of her life to understand this anomaly. The Harvard Economist was recognised for her research that showed that women are, on an average, paid lesser than men, even when they have higher education levels, and such gap in remuneration begins at a time when a woman gets married and increases when she gives birth to children.

Karnataka Powrakarmikas (Safaikaramcharis) Bengaluru Declaration

A state-level conference of sanitation workers (powrakarmikas) was held on 06.11.2022 at Ambedkar Bhavan in Bangalore by the BBMP Pourakarmika Sangha, Karnataka Pragathipara Pourakarmika Sangha, Karnataka Pragathipara Tajya Sagisuva Vahana Chalakara Matthu Sahayakara Sangha (all affiliated with AICCTU), demanding that all powrakarmikas in the state be made permanent.

Karnataka: Victorious Sanitation Workers Strike

In a historic victory to the sanitation workers across Karnataka, the BJP-led government at the State has agreed to make their jobs permanent, among other demands. After a four-day long strike held in 31 districts, including sweepers, auto drivers, helpers, loaders, UGD workers, who were working under the direct-payment system, sham contract, daily wagers, among other artificially distinguished workers, will be made permanent.


1. Ad-hoc Employee Granted Pension by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has directed the State Government of Gujarat to pay pensionary benefits to an ad-hoc employee who retired from his employment after 30 years of continuous service. It reprimanded the state government for stating that it is unreasonable to claim pension as the workman was employed on an ad-hoc basis for 30 years and therefore was not eligible for pension. The Supreme Court in its order noted that “as a welfare State, the State as such ought not to have taken such a stand.”

The Street Vendors and the Onslaught of the Pandemic, Anti-farmer Laws and Communalisation

The life and livelihoods of street vendors have been debilitated post-COVID 19 pandemic. Street vendors who have always been at the receiving end of the State’s wrath through constant spate of evictions from their market places, hafta collections, verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the police, local authorities, and private individuals, have now been deeply affected by the looming economic crisis in the country. Additionally, they are also impacted by the anti-farmer laws as also the growing communal violence and the atmosphere of intolerance in the country.

As Forgotten as the Dead: The Invisible Work of Crematorium and Cemetery Workers

With an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths during the 2nd wave of the pandemic, the country is facing an inordinate stress on crematoriums and cemeteries for disposal of the dead. We continue to hear the news of how local authorities are identifying mass cremation centers to deal with the situation or how electric crematoriums are breaking down due to the load and cities are running out of burial space.