In order to address wage disparities between permanent workers and temporary workers hired for similar profiles work in state government departments, the Madras High Court on Thursday ordered the Tamil Nadu government to pay workers the amount in the same profile equally.
A petition filed by Rajaselvan from Dindigul stated that government departments like the High Court, public work and local administration departments employ many workers who are paid daily wages, are part of the Non-Muster Roll (NMR) and on contract, with the help of middlemen. Submitting that these workers are paid very low wages and that proper attendance records of such workers is not being maintained by the departments, Rajaselvan requested the court to order payment of equal wages to the workers, along with direct bank transfer of the wages and biometric attendance records.
Justices Sasidharan and Swaminathan, who heard the petition on Thursday, ordered the state government to equalise the wages for the three categories of workers in the Public Works Department as requested in the petition. The judges further ordered the departmentâ€™s Principal Secretary to issue a government order to this effect by February 22.
The judges also ordered that the department directly recruit workers and maintain appropriate records without engaging a contractor for the purpose, and to deposit wages directly into the bank account of the workers instead of entrusting the contractor to disburse the same.
The government was directed to draw up a protocol for the wages to be paid to daily wage and contract labourers, and for biometric attendance to be followed from April 1 in high courts.
The court further said that the state government must take efforts to standardise and regularise the wages of daily workers and contract labourers across the state and disposed of the case.