Maitreyi Krishnan

Contract Workers in Public Sector Undertakings



The recent struggle of the workers working at M/s ITI Ltd., Bengaluru once again brings to the forefront the question of contract workers and the conditions under which they are forced to work, especially in public sector undertakings and the Government. These workers like thousands of other workers in various public sector undertakings have been termed as contract workers and denied their most basic rights despite working for several decades.

The Surat Displacement Verdict: Workers’ Right to the City Under Attack


In an unfortunate development, the Supreme Court of India has refused to entertain the right to housing for city’s working class in a matter related to impending displacement of around 10,000 people in Surat, Gujarat who live on a land, for over 60 years, belonging to the railways.  These are the people who run the city by their labour. They are mainly unorganised workers and several of them are also engaged in railway related activities.

ITI Workers' Struggle: Convention against Contract Labour System and Emerging Forms of Bonded Labour

The struggle of the workers of the Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI) that started on 1st December, 2021, after 80 workers were terminated for having unionized, continues. On its 86th day of the struggle, a historic convention was organized jointly with Samyukta Horata, a coalition of Farmers, Dalit and Workers Organizations against the Contract Labour System and other forms of bonded labour opposite to the ITI Corporate Office in Bengaluru.

The Powrakarmika Protest: A demand for minimum Wages, A demand for dignified living

Powrakarmikas (Sanitation Workers) perform the obligatory duties of the local bodies, keeping the cities and towns clean and safeguarding the health of every person. The workers are predominantly Dalit pre-ordained by the caste system to perform these jobs generationally, and structurally oppressed and deprived of social dignity, education, proper housing and the fundamental choice of opting for other occupations. 

ITI Workers' Struggle Continues

The struggle of ITI Workers in Bengaluru who were refused employment on 1 December 2021 has entered into its 50th day. These workers who have worked with ITI Ltd. for long periods ranging from 3 to 35 years were refused employment for the sole reason that they unionized and sought their legitimate rights. Despite working for such long periods, these workers who are predominately women and Dalit workers, are termed contract workers and denied their rights.

Strike by Frontline Workers at Victoria Hospital, Bengaluru

Frontline workers employed in Victoria hospital as housekeeping staff, ward attenders, lift operators, Data entry operators and security, have not been paid their wages for October 2021. Victoria Hospital was a dedicated COVID-19 facility, and these workers worked throughout the first and second wave of COVID-19.  The wages for the month of September had also been delayed and was only paid on 31st October.

Powrakarmika Jaatha: Challenging Caste System, Patriarchy and Neo-Liberal Agenda

The Propaganda March of Sanitation Workers

Sanitation work is a dehumanising occupation and is one that is reserved for the Dalit community across the country. Sanitation workers are not merely individual members of this workforce out of pure choice; but members, by birth, with inerasable identity and inter-generational continuity. Most sanitation workers are women, and are victims of triple oppression, by virtue of their class, caste and gender.