Conservancy operations in Kodambakkam and Teynampet zones were hit following a strike by workers of Chennai Municipal Solid Waste Pvt Ltd.

The strike by the workers demanding a bonus affected operations on Monday night and Tuesday morning. However, after intervention by the Chennai Corporation, the workers agreed to defer the protest to get an official response from the company.

When contacted, company sources said the workers were not eligible for a bonus as it was only seven months since the company was formed and it was running at a loss.

Sources said that, though workers had initially agreed to refrain from striking, a section of compactor drivers instigated the unrest. “They are old hands and have been in the business from when the firm Onyx was involved in conservancy operations in the city,” said a source.

The company official said out of the monthly bill of around Rs. 6.5 crore, only Rs. 3.25 crore was being paid by the Corporation, which went towards paying the salaries of workers. The remaining amount was being held over for the penalty clause and evaluation by the civic body. Expenses towards fuel, spares and maintenance and shifting the garbage to the Perungudi dump yard were being met through bank loans.

Meanwhile, a section of workers said even a festival advance would help them purchase clothes for their families for Deepavali. “We understand the company does not have the money. If the Corporation releases the amount it has withheld, it would help immensely,” said a conservancy staff member.

The CMSW, a special purpose vehicle set up by Ramky Enviro Engineers, has around 5,300 workers of which 150 are compactor drivers and 300 compactor helpers.

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