- Published: Monday, 27 November 2017 14:30
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Sanjeev Java, president of Swatantra Majdoor Sanyukta Morcha, and Sanjay Gahlot, president of MCD Swachhta Karamchari Union, claimed that Monday's strike was successful in all three corporations. "We have the support of 30 different unions of sanitation workers," said Java. The situation could degenerate into a major crisis during Diwali if the civic bodies do not manage to convince the workers to end the strike. The sanitation employees plan to lock the entrance of the MCD Civic Centre on Minto Road, headquarters of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation, on Tuesday. In east Delhi a group of sanitation workers will protest outside the office of deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. "The strike will continue till our demands are met," declared Gahlot.
There are 65,000 sanitation workers in the three corporations, around 60% of whom are permanent employees, the rest being casual workers. While the latter are angered that they get less than half the salary paid to the regular workers, the permanent employees are incensed at the non-payment of arrears since 2003 and the lack of other facilities such as cashless medical cards. AAP councillor Vikas Goyal briefly sat on a dharna during the standing committee meeting in the north body on Monday, charging the panel with not having serious discussions on the issue. Leader of the opposition Rakesh Kumar held a meeting with union representatives.
Six days of strike have left east Delhi reeking. On Monday, the impact of the strike in the other municipalities was visible in Civil Lines, Karol Bagh, Narela, Rohini and City zone in the north and in Najafgarh and west zones in the south. "The main road near Krishna Nagar was overflowing with garbage today," grumbled B S Vohra of the RWAs Federation of East Delhi. The efforts of Dr Ranbir Singh, EDMC commissioner, to talk things out with the striking workers failed. His warning of 'no work, no pay' also failed to end the strike. "Having disbursed bonus to all the workers on Monday, we hope they will return to work," said Singh after the civic body received Rs 108 crore as grant from Delhi government during the day. However, Gahlot insisted, "We are not satisfied with just the bonus. We are in no mood to end the strike."
The south corporation has disbursed the bonus to its sanitation workers and the north body has announced the bonus. "We have paid the arrears and the bonus asnd we also pay their salaries on time, so there is no reason for workers going on strike. Regularisation of the casual workers is a long process and are doing our homework on it," said SDMC mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat.
At a meeting with Union urban development minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday, north corporation mayor Preety Agrawal flagged the financial crunch in the civic body. By evening, officials had met representatives of the striking workers. "In the meeting, the workers said would take a call on the strike on Tuesday," a senior official said. Agrawal also disclosed that the ministry has given Rs 100 crore to each of the three corporations to buy machinery.
(Source: The Times of India)