Gurgaon: Workers protest over poor food, transport at DLF-5 construction site
The issues were resolved after a meeting between the protesting workers, company officials and the sub-divisional officer, Gurgaongurgaon Updated: Jul 21, 2017 23:03 IST
Over a thousand workers held an impromptu protest at a construction site on the upscale and busy Golf Course Road on Thursday morning alleging harsh working conditions, inadequate transport facilities and poor quality food served to them.
The workers were protesting against Leighton, a construction company that is building the DLF Camelias project in DLF 5, one of the poshest residential areas in Gurgaon.
The protest, which began at 8 am, caused panic as workers broke glass panes of some of the under construction flats and contractor’s office sending locals into a tizzy. Gurgaon police rushed more than 300 personnel, including men from the Rapid Action Force (RAF), to enforce order.
A large police contingent, labour officials and the sub-divisional magistrate of Gurgaon reached the spot and it took over two hours to pacify the workers and bring the situation under control. Later, on the complaint of the firm, a case was registered against 40 unidentified workers under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code at Sushant Lok police station.
The workers present at the scene alleged that adequate facilities were not made available to labourers and they were made to work in unforgiving conditions.
“Transport facilities are inadequate. There are only a few buses to transport labourers from Ullawas camp to the construction site. What does it say about the working conditions when hundreds of workers are hoarded in just 15 buses to be taken to the construction site?” Faisal, a worker from Bihar, said.
The workers claimed that they were often insulted by their supervisors, especially the HR officials.
Majority of workers hail from Bihar, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. They cited the poor quality of food served at the site as a major reason for the unrest.
“We are made to just potatoes mixed with bitter gourd and soya beans. How can a labourer survive on such a frugal meal? The quality of food served on site has only gone from bad to worse,” Ajay, another worker, said.
The latest trigger for the protest was the change in the shift of workers from 8 am-8 pm. “How can we cope with this? We have families too,” Deepak, another worker, said.
Police officers who rushed to the spot said that they were able to pacify the workers on time.
“There was no untoward incident and the workers and the company officials held a meeting during which they resolved the differences,” Deepak Saharan, deputy commissioner of police (east), said.
The issues raised by workers were later resolved in a meeting between labour officials, SDM Gurgaon and officials of the company.
“The workers spoke about inadequate bus service, food and other problems and the Leighton officials were asked to resolve the same. The number of buses will be increased from 15 to 20, a food chart will be prepared and other issues will also be resolved,” Bharat Bhushan Gogia, SDM, Gurgaon, said. Gogia ordered the company to form a grievance cell.
A statement from the Leighton said, “There have been some queries with regard to altercations between the workers and their supervisors at the site. We would like to put it on record that these were minor in nature stemming from some misunderstanding and have been amicably resolved between the two parties.”