NEW DELHI: At least 13,000 workers of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in the north eastern states of India have decided to launch an agitation, beginning from next month, for regularising their jobs and attaining uniformity in their wages.

A formal meeting of the North East MGNREGA Employees Association (NEMEA) was held at Agartala on Sunday in which the demands were finalised and it was unilaterally decided that they would launch a stir from next month.

“As a first step of the agitation, we would send letters from all the eight northeastern states to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to regularise the jobs of the MGNREGS employees and uniformity in the remunerations,” NEMEA President Joydeep Kar informed the media.

Kar further divulged the details about their plans.

“After sending letters to Prime Minister, emails and tweet messages would be send to Modi in support of the demands. On July 15, sit-in-demonstrations would be organised in all the eight northeastern states on the same issue”.

The convention on Sunday witnessed participation of MGNREGS employees from all the eight northeast states with each delegation raising issues about wages and remuneration in their respective states.

Kokil Barua, NEMEA’s General Secretary, who represented MGNREGS employees of Assam, said that it has been more than 32 months that the 5,500 employees of the rural job scheme in Assam have not received their wages.

Barua added, “If we protest for non-payment of our wages, the authorities are threatening to sack the employees”.

Citing state wise disparity of the wages of the MGNREGS employees, they said that the workers of the scheme in Uttar Pradesh gets Rs.3,943 per month while employees in Assam gets Rs.4,500 per month.

Further, he talked about the disparity in the wages of workers of different states. Kar said that of the five categories of MGNREGS employees, the highest remuneration is Rs. 25,000 per month in Mizoram and lowest is Rs.3,943 per month in Uttar Pradesh.

Tinko Momin, representative of Meghalaya MGNREGS employees and also the NEMEA Assistant Secretary, raised a similar concern.

“Payment of wages is also very irregular in Meghalaya,”he said, adding “Whenever, we asked for parity of wages, regularise our jobs and to provide basic facilities like 20 days’ paid leave, the state authorities ask us to approach the central government”.