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Contractor changed at central warehousing corporation,Delhi HC instructs  new contractor to continue with earlier contractor workers

Jan.15,2021:The contractual workforce employed at one of the depots of a government-owned warehouse storage and handling service provider in the national capital found itself nowhere  earlier this month after the substitution of their labour supplying agency according to a report published by News click.

They received succour through a Delhi High Court order recently, which came following a week filled with apprehension, courtesy – not surprisingly – a trade union.

On January 6, around 280 loading workers found the gates of an inland clearance depot (ICD) of the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) at East Delhi’s Patparganj closed to them. The corporation is  under the administrative control of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

With 415 warehouses and 25 ICDs across the country, it provides logistical support to the agriculture sector, including warehousing activities that have to do with the storage of foodgrains, or other notified commodities.

On the fateful day, the presence of police personnel, accompanying the security guards, already hinted the reasons behind the prohibition on their entrance in the depot. The loading workers were aware that the three year contract of the private agency that employed them had ended a day earlier. The workers were soon told by the guards that they were not required anymore.

The loaders, majority of whom are in their 40s and 50s,  were left shaken as their source of income was snatched in a day – a condition that would strike a chord with all contractual workers, who are often subjected to economic precarity. Many workers have claimed to have working there for last two-three decades. Many of them have been working at the depot since 1992. The workers are unioinised  with CITU.

This time, however, when “Rahul Roadways” replaced “Suman Forwarding Agency Private Limited” as the new private labour supplier, the loaders were left in for a shock who was not inclined to absorb all workers under his  employment.

 On a petition filed by union on behalf of 105 workers, Delhi HC issued interim order  on 14th jan. to contracting agency to maintain status quo with respect of the jobs of the loaders.