Officials preparing list of workers who have not been attending duties for long

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) move to identify the long-time absentees seems to be creating a furore among the workers. The corridors of corporation are abuzz with tittle-tattle about the VMC’s alleged moves to trim the strength of sanitary staff shortly.

The corporation officials have begun the process to list out the sanitary workers, who have not been turning up to duties for more than two years.

According to a rough estimate of the officials, there are 150 to 160 workers in this category.

The workers union, however, alleges that the VMC is planning to terminate the services of more than 400 sanitary workers. The higher-ups are denying such plans asserting that they have not taken any decision so far.

It all began in November last. Municipal Commissioner C. Hari Kiran said not even half of the sanitary workers are turning up for their duties in the city. The sanitation works were being carried out with only half of the force if the musters/attendance registers were to be believed. This startling fact came to light during his daily visit in November 2013.

There are about 75 workers in the city who were termed ‘long absent’. The workers, who have not been turning up for the last 2, 3, 5, 8, and even 10 years, were listed out. However, there is someone substituting for most of these absentees. The total number of absentees is 362, some of are said to have died. The VMC, however, has not engaged any substitutes after January 1, 2013.

Study

Subsequently, a detailed study was carried out with a focus on two issues: sanitary workers who are not attending duties, but are signing the muster and the workers who have been absent for a long time. The corporation officials are now, gathering information about the long-time absentees. They are yet to give a final shape to the data.

Workers’ union leader A. Ranganayakulu said they would move the court if the corporation went ahead with its plans to downsise the workforce. As per the instructions of the court in earlier instance, the VMC was not empowered to remove any of the contract workers. It could only keep a tab on attendance and sanitation works. The corporation, as a principal employer, had to provide facilities like ESI and PF, he added.

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