VMC employees are determined to continue ‘Work to Rule’

The stalemate over payment of salaries to municipal workers continued on Saturday, with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of VMC Employees bent upon continuing ‘Work to Rule’. Municipal Commissioner Md. Abdul Azeem urged the employees to suspended their protest, and attend to their duties.

The JAC members submitted a memorandum to him asking the VMC to pay the salaries immediately and clear the terminal benefits, pensions, medical reimbursements and PF part final and loan payments.

Mr. Azeem told them that the issue would be brought to the notice of district Collector M. Buddha Prakash Jyothi, who is also the Special Officer for the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation. The matter would be escalated to Principal Secretary and the Municipal Administration Minister, he said.

Mr. Azeem said everyone is aware that the contractors were on agitation mode. A fellow in their community breathed his last. The image of the corporation would be at stake if everyone goes on strike or protest, he said, adding, “I am caught between the devil and the deep sea.” The issues raised by both of you (contractors and employees) are genuine. As a commissioner both issues have to be sorted out, he said, adding, “You know that I assumed the office when finances were red. I don’t have a magic wand to do wonders. I need some breathing space to set the things right. Till then, cooperate.”

‘Assurance needed’

The JAC convener Eswar, however, said that they cannot suspend their work to rule unless there was a categorical assurance on the salaries.

“The JAC has decided to go on work to rule in any given month if the salaries were not paid on first day of that month. The members will not keep quiet if the protest was withdrawn without any assurance.

There are two festivals -- one in this month, and another in next month. Consider the plight of the employees as well,” he said.

The JAC leader said that they were not against the payments to the contractors. The employees’ pension contribution, Provident Fund (PF) and Gundala layout development fund were diverted to meet the contractors pending bills.

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