Ranjit Mahanti

In a shocking and a Heart – rendering incident that seems to come straight out of a tragic history book, THE Western Naval Command of Indian Navy has been treating its security guards like nothing but slaves. The Naval Command fired 22 security guards after they refused to work without pay on May 9, 2017. Merciless Navy officers did not even pay their salary that was due to them since last 40 days. The security guards were posted in NCH colony, Kanjur Marg (West), Mumbai-78.

The treatment that has been meted out to this poor security guards has been pathetic and shocking and it is a matter of National Shame that Officers of The Navy have doled out such a treatment on their employees and fellow human beings.

On May 13, 2017 ABI (abinet.org) published article under headline, “Navy representative evokes PM Narendra Modi’s name while justifying lower wages to security guards posted at Navy colony.” Recently, Navy officers removed those 22 security guards from job ordering them to leave Navy premises immediately. When guards demanded their 40 days salary, security officer Toraskar replied, “It’s not my concern.” They tried to meet Administrative officer of the colony Commandar Mujawar, but he refused to meet them as well.

Now guards have decided to complain to Admiral Suparintendent Sanjeev Kale demanding their reappointment, payment of their pending salary and improve their working conditions. “We will also knock the door of Labour Commissioner Yeshawant E Kerure and Labour minister Sambhaji Patil,” said a guard.

Colony’s security RAM BHAROSE
Now, NCH colony’s security is being handled by four security guards IMPORTED from Ulhasnagar. After removing 22 guards Toraskar and Mujawar failed to arrange sufficient guards. They contacted another security firm Dynamic Pvt. Ltd who provides security to Ulhasnagar Navy colony and asked him to arrange guards immediately. Dynamic Pvt. Ltd refused to provide 22 security guards as they don’t have enough manpower. They sent only four guards that are PROTECTING colony these days.. They have been deployed on four gates. So now, where there used to be 3-4 guards, there is only 1 guard at present.

The Story
Dismissed 22 security guards were working under private contractor Allsecure Protection Service. On 19th March, the contractor’s agreement expired. There are Rs 407 minimum wages rate as per the government rules. Commandar Muzawar and security officer Toraskar assured security guards payment of fixed Rs 407 per day. On April 27, security guards received salary in cash for 11 days (March 20 to March 31) but the pay was Rs 256 per day. Security guards contacted security officer Toraskar. They were told that department will pay Rs 256 per day only. They were asked to quit the job if they were not satisfied with the pay scale. Unhappy with this rude behavior all the security guards on May 9, 2017 went on strike.

Upon learning about the strike the department dispatched a representative ( RAC dept, center no 36 – Shop Committee Member) Vinod Pandey to settle the dispute. Pandey disagreed to pay wages of Rs 407 per day. Later security guards were removed from their job.

Keeping aside the fact that the guards were dismissed without any recourse of payment of salary, the working conditions under which these guards worked were horrible. They were not given any identity cards or uniforms and were forced to wear mis-fitting uniforms of the old guards. There are 15 posts, including 6 gates that require constant security and monitoring. There is no provision for food, water and toilet at these posts. Each of these posts should ideally be manned by 2-3 guards, but since there are not enough guards, the guards who are working there are forced to work without food, water or using toilet for minimum of 8 hours, and sometimes if the reliving guard does not show up, they have to work 16 hours without a food, water and toilet break. Even slaves are treated better than this. They are not given weekly off, and have to work on all 7 days of the week.

The administrator in charge, Commander Mujawar is known to verbally abuse guards, using filthiest of bad words. He treats the guards like dirt, literally abusing them everytime they go to complain about anything.

Around 3 months back, a guard was severely injured in an accident with a Vehicle at the main gate, he was just given 10,000 Rupees and sent away. He is suffering, physically, mentally and financially, yet no attention has been paid to him.

Another guard, fainted after complaining of dizziness, while on duty, and fell. He hit his head and has passed away. No kind of compensation has been provided to the family so far.

Two employees were beaten up badly during the course of duty, no medical treatment or compensation was offered to them.

Despite such inhuman working conditions, the poor guards work to take care of their families. It is therefore shocking that they were not paid even bare minimum salary that has been stipulated by the Government. Not only that, when they went to complain, they were fired without notice and were not paid salary since last 40 days. This is absolutely disgusting. It is a matter of National Disgrace that Navy treats its lowest rung of employees in such a poor and shoddy way.

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[…] These days, Officials of the Navy Administration are busy in playing and indulging in dirty politics instead of taking care of security issues in NCH colony. ABI had earlier exposed by publishing two articles on security guards of persecution and partiality. On May 13, 2017 ABI (abinet.org) published article under headline, “Navy representative evokes PM Narendra Modi’s name while justifying lower wages to security guards posted at Navy colony.” On May 17, 2017 published second articles under headline, MERCILESS Indian Navy mistreats and fires 22 security guards without paying salary for 40 days.” […]