Nearly 50 workers of Gammon India involved in Chennai Metro Rail work went on a brief strike at the labour colony in Nandambakkam on Wednesday morning, protesting the delay in payment of salary.

Around 8 a.m., the workers, including supervisors, engineers and other managerial staff, refused to go to work protesting non-payment of salaries for December, said an official of Gammon India. The workers draw anything between Rs. 12,000 and Rs. 30,000 as monthly salary, he said.

In February 2011, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) had awarded a contract of Rs. 1,947 crore to Gammon India for the design and construction of seven underground stations — at Government Estate, LIC, Thousand Lights, Gemini, Teynampet, Chamiers Road and Saidapet.

Nearly 1,200, including labourers, supervisors and managerial staff from Gammon India, are working on the Rs. 14,600-crore Chennai Metro project.

On Wednesday, officials from Gammon India promised the workers their salaries would be paid in a day or two and persuaded them to return to work. The workers relented and got to work around 11 a.m., said the official.

Problems and delays in processing the payment of workers had led to the situation, the official said.

Many employees were disappointed they did not receive their salaries before Pongal. Sources said many received their salaries for October and November only in December.

Wednesday was not the first time Gammon India workers went on strike. In May 2013, 150 labourers had struck work over non-payment of dues and lack of drinking-water facility.

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