Jobless with a job in Delhi -Basant Kumar Mohanty
Low wages, no social security mark ‘non-standard forms of employment’
By11am last Wednesday, Salim had collected all the household trash littering the lanes in the central Delhi neighbourhood of Regar Pura anddumped it in the local garbage yard.
If he were a regular civic employee, his day’s work would be over. But Salim said his “actual work”would only start now: he would be segregating the plastic bags and bottles and liquor bottles from the rest of the rubbish.
“I’m nota direct employee of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi; I have been appointed by a contractor,” Salim, working without any gloves or mask, said.
“I get paid after every three months. So I collect the plastic waste and sell it for a living.”
Aregular sanitation employee of the municipality earns about Rs 40,000 amonth, has medical insurance and receives pension after retirement. A contractual sanitation worker hired by the civic body itself is paid about Rs 15,000 a month and gets pension but no health cover.
Salim,a sub-contractual worker, is paid only about Rs 18,000 every three months. He earns about Rs 200 a day by selling plastic waste, thus doubling his income.
He will receive no pension; and neither the civic body nor the contractor has taken out a medical insurance policy on him.
AlthoughSalim ostensibly has a “job”, he is as much a victim of the unemployment crisis afflicting the country as a jobless youth, say economists Ravi Srivastava and Anoop Satpathy.
The lack of jobs is forcing the poor to seek what economists call “non-standard forms of employment” with sub-contractors, at wages below the official minimum wage and minus any social security.
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