Some 30,000 government workers employed across the state of Jharkhand, demonstrated in the capital Ranchi on 4 December to demand an improvement in working conditions and benefits.
Marching under the banner of UNI Global Union affiliate, the Jharkhand State Non-Gazetted Employees Federation (JSNGEF), the workers walked from the Morabadi sports ground towards the state governor’s residence at Raj Bhavan, to submit an 11-point demand letter to the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren.
The workers, employed by various state-owned services, as well as community workers in the care sector, are calling for pay increases, regularization of informal and outsourced workers, and reforms to the relevant government department rules relating to wages, allowances, inclusion into pension schemes, and proper classification of an array of workers.
Ashok Kumar Singh, State General Secretary of the Sangh, underscored the peaceful nature of their demonstration, emphasizing their commitment to cooperating with the government. Singh stated, “We have demonstrated our solidarity and presented our demands to the government representatives. Now, it is up to Chief Minister Hemant Soren to consider our requests.”
Presiding over the meeting, Dr. Manoj Kumar Sinha, State President of the Federation, urged the government to take immediate steps towards a resolution. Dr Sinha stated, “The patience of employees is waning, and the government should work towards an immediate solution.”
The employees now await a positive response from the Chief Minister Hemant Soren regarding their demands.
UNI Asia & Pacific Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya said, “We support the legitimate demands of our affiliate, the JSNGEF, who is very concerned that government agencies are evolving into exploitative entities, contributing to wage theft, widening decent work deficits, and impoverishing the working population in the state. The government should set an example by promoting decent employment practices.”