Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar
Illustrator: Chetan Bhakuni, Vibhushita Singh
I work as a private security guard at CSIR NML (Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research, National Metallurgical Laboratory), in Jamshedpur, for the last two years. Working here hasn't been very smooth for us. In these two years, three agencies have been replaced that provide the service of security guards.
Whichever agency is hired by CSIR-NML, takes Rs 15,000-20,000 from us, the details of which are not provided to us neither we are given any facility in return for the money paid.
In April 2022, the rate at which we were paid was revised to Rs 770 per day, plus bonus, minus deductions. Ideally, for 26 working days, we should be getting Rs 19,135. But in reality, our salary comes, with a deduction of Rs 500-600 and no salary slip is provided to us.
'Our PFs and ESIs Not Deposited Regularly'
We are not paid as per the current pay scale rate. The required amount of money that should be deposited in PF account is not paid regularly. Our PFs (Provident Funds) for the month of June, July, and August of 2021 and February, March, April, May and June of 2022, have not been deposited.
ESI (Employees' State Insurance Scheme) payments are not carried out properly and because of this many of us are not able to avail of any medical facilities.
One of my colleagues had to take his pregnant wife for her delivery. He had planned to pay for the treatment with the help of the ESI card but the hospital rejected saying that he wasn't eligible for the insurance since his payments weren't properly made in ESI. He had to arrange the money from somewhere to get his wife treated.
Due to irregular payments, we are also facing problem in paying school fees of our children.
'Agencies Change, But Problems Remain the same'
In the last two years, one of the main reasons behind the changing of three agencies is that they are neither able to pay us on time, nor they are able to deposit our PFs and ESIs. When we don't receive our salaries for two months, and when we complain to the higher authorities at CSIR-NML that's when they change the agency.
Agencies change but the problems remain the same. The current agency is also behaving in the same manner. It is unable to pay us on time and it's not paying us as per the latest pay rates.
'Despite Complaints, Issues Not Resolved'
We have raised this issue several times with the CSIR-NML management but they could not help us in any way. We have also given written complaints to several government departments, but we haven't received any answers.
We are mentally tortured, if we try to raise our issues and we are then treated in a manner that we are forced to quit our jobs. It isn't that we are demanding anything unfair. It would be great if we can get our proper due. We don't want any dispute.
Security Agency's Response To The Quint
The Quint reached out to both, CSIR-NML and Raider Security Services for their response on the issues raised. Jitendra Kumar, field officer of the security agency, responded to the issues raised.
On being asked why the security guards are not being paid at the current wages, Kumar said, "From this month, we are going to pay as per the latest revised rate because its (CSIR-NML) notification came only last month. We will give the airer (from April), as per the increased rate of pay, and will provide an explanation bill."
The guard has also raised the issue that agencies change frequently at CSIR-NML and every new agency charges Rs 15,000 to 20,000 from them the reasons for which are not provided to them. On this, Kumar said, "We have informed them. We have taken through DD (Demand Draft). Everyone was told that it was for their registration fee and other charges." But Kumar did agree that no bill for the payment is provided to them.
Regarding the irregularities in PFs and ESI, Kumar said, it's been only 3-4 months that they have been provided services, during which they are promptly depositing PFs and ESIs. Though during the times of previous agencies, the statement of EPFO shows 8 months of PFs have not been deposited.
Kumar agreed that there have been delays in the payment of salaries. He has promised to rectify the issue from now on.
In a response to the queries, CSIR-NML Administrated Officer, Subhajit Banerjee, wrote, " The revised higher rates of wages, as applicable, are also reimbursed to the agency on receipt of such orders by the Government and documentary evidence of such payment to the contract security personnel.
"However, it may be noted that such orders are often made effective retrospectively and hence arrears of such payment are also reimbursed to the agency accordingly. The present contract of security services has been engaged through the GeM portal," he further writes in the mail.
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