Long wait for wages for 4K Forest staff - ECAS Punjab

Long wait for wages for 4K Forest staff

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Sameer Singh
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, July 30

Angrej Singh (50) of Pakka Kalan village has been buying groceries on credit from a shop in his vicinity. Unable to clear an outstanding bill of more than Rs 8, 000, he is now looking for another grocery shop for purchases on credit. Life for him has been tough. Since the past four months, Angrez Singh, among the 4,000 employees with the Forest Department, have not been paid wages.

"My savings are all gone. My two sons, both farmhands, are without work. I had to borrow Rs 20,000 on an interest of Rs 400 per month to meet household expenses.

The borrowers are now on my doorstep. I devoted 23 years of my life to my job for a meagre salary of Rs 8,700. Now, I am even deprived of that," he says.

Amrik Singh, president of Forest Workers' Union, said, "Leave aside regularising our services, we have not been paid salaries for months. We have held protests to get our due but in vain. A meeting with senior officials at Chandigarh last week remained inconclusive. We are tired of hollow assurances. We are being pushed into stepping up our agitation." Divisional Forest Officer Swarn Singh said the salaries would be paid as soon as they received funds. According to Jatinder Sharma, Principal Conservator of Forests, the salaries are likely to be released after a meeting on August 5.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/2DnaBlQ

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