A flash strike by cleaning staff disrupted services and inconvenienced pilgrims at the hill temple on Thursday. Sanitation workers at the Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy and Thiru Avinangudi temples kept off duty and plunged the temple administration into crisis on a day of high pilgrim arrivals.

The temple management struggled to ensure that the walkway was suitable for use by devotees streaming into the hill shrine on what was regarded as an auspicious day.

Meanwhile, contract workers thronged the contractor’s office at Sri Dhandayuthapaniswamy Nilakyam, on the temple guest house campus, and later assembled before the HR&CE office, to protest default in the payment of wages. They had been assured a daily wage of Rs 200 by the contractor but were paid half that amount, the cleaning staff claimed. “Approximately 300 workers are engaged in sanitary work in the hill temple and other areas”, said Thamizharasi, a worker.

“When we contacted the Andhra Pradesh-based contractor, he said that our PF amount was being deducted from our pay and was being remitted in the Andhra Pradesh PF office. But no one has received any PF receipt till date,” Deivanai, another worker, said.

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