May 01, 2022

CITU Welcomes Supreme Court Order on Gratuity for Anganwadi Workers and Helpers

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement issued on April 27, has  congratulated the movement of the anganwadi workers and helpers in general and Gujarat State Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union (CITU) and All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) in particular for their consistent struggle which has brought them this historic victory.

CITU also congratulates senior advocate P V Surendranath who is also the general secretary of All India Lawyers Union and advocate Subhash Chandran, leader of AILU for their immense help in consistent legal battle which has led to the Supreme Court judgment yesterday acknowledging the status of anganwadi workers and helpers as ‘workmen’ and their legal right for gratuity.

The Anganwadi Workers’ and Helpers Union, Gujarat affiliated to the CITU along with a few individuals has been fighting this legal battle for years. The union has also been in the forefront of militant struggles in Gujarat on the streets and is facing severe repression and threats by Gujarat BJP government. More than 300 union members are being issued with termination notices for participating in the all India General Strike on March 28-29, 2022. CITU salutes these valiant soldiers of working class.

As pointed out by the federation of Anganwadi workers and helpers, this historic judgment of Supreme Court has made a course correction on its infamous judgment refusing to take any position on legal entitlements of the anganwadi workers and helpers.

In this order, the Supreme Court has not only clearly directed the Gujarat government to provide gratuity but also has directed it to give 10 per cent interest and implement it within three months.

The apex court has also directed the Government of India to review the working conditions of the anganwadi workers and helpers and take appropriate measures including increase in wages. This order which clearly says that the anganwadi workers and helpers are entitled to gratuity under the Payment of Gratuity Act 1972 vindicates the position taken by the CITU and the trade union movement and will have far reaching implication in the movement of scheme workers.

CITU demands that the Government of India must immediately implement the Supreme Court order and recognise the role of the anganwadi workers and helpers. It demands the Government of India to immediately implement the recommendations of the 45th Indian Labour Conference on the rights of scheme workers – provide status as workers along with statutory minimum wages and pension, ESI, PF etc.

In a situation where the government is in a mad drive of privatisation of public sector as well as public services including ICDS, CITU reiterates its resolve for intensifying the struggles for the demands of anganwadi workers and helpers as well as the other scheme workers for regularisation, minimum wages and social security.