At the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Monday (December 28), the Labor Department had a conference with the Self-Employed Labor Organization. Labor Minister Malay Ghatak, State Urban Minister Firhad Hakim, and several other ministers were present in the meeting. 

The auditorium premises turned a battlefield after angry laborers allegedly did not get any assurance on their long-pending salary demand. They damaged chairs and ripped flex boards in between speeches by ministers.

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Firhad Hakim said, “The demands of the laborers can’t be fulfilled in this way. If we inform the CM about this matter, she will do something about it.”

Power Minister Sobhan Deb Chattopadhyay was also a part of the program.

The contractual laborers claimed that they were expecting a mention of salary structure.

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However, when the laborers saw that no one spoke on their demand, they got angry. The laborers started protesting in front of the ministers. Although the ministers managed to leave the place peacefully, protestors blocked roads.

The workers claimed that the Self Employed Labor Organization was formed during the Left regime to raise Rs 25 per month in social security schemes from unorganized workers. They received commissions to withdraw money from unorganized workers. There are about 6,500 such workers in the entire state.

But in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, withdrawal of money has stopped from March-April. As a result, they are not getting commission. Meanwhile, the contract workers started protesting as there was no assurance given to them at the workers conference.