Midday meal workers demand salary hike

Threaten to hold state-level rally on January 19

Midday meal workers demand salary hike

Members of the Midday Meal Cooks’ Union burn Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s effigy during a protest in Patiala on Saturday. Tribune photo: Rajesh Sachar

Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 14

Demanding a hike in their salaries, hundreds of midday meal cooks held a protest rally and burned the effigy of Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today.

The protests were staged near Nehru Park, under the banner of Democratic Mulazam Federation (DMF). The protesters were miffed by the untimely delay by the Finance Department in clearing the file pertaining to the increase in the salaries of the midday meal cooks.

The protesters said the Education Department had, already, proposed a salary of the Rs 43,000 for cook-cum-helpers employed under the midday meal scheme to the Finance Department. They alleged that the Finance Minister was becoming a roadblock in the fulfillment of their demand on the pretext of financial hardship faced by the Punjab Government.

Currently, the midday meal cook-cum-helpers are getting a meagre monthly salary of Rs 1,700 despite working for four to five hours daily. Moreover, owing to the summer holidays in the schools, they get salary only for 10 months in a year.

The protesters announced that they would hold a state-level rally at the Finance Minister hometown on January 19.

Parveen Sharma, president, DMF, said, “The midday meal cooks should get at least a minimum pay of Rs 8,403. We will intensify our protest, if our demands are not met immediately.”

The protesters, finally, called off their stir after they submitted their memorandum to the police officials.

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