Sanitation workers protest delayed wages

Threaten to intensify stir; East Delhi Mayor says will try reach a solution

September 13, 2018 01:41 am | Updated 01:41 am IST - New Delhi

 Safai karamcharis protest near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence in the Capital on Wednesday.

Safai karamcharis protest near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence in the Capital on Wednesday.

Hundreds of sanitation workers employed with the city’s municipal corporations called a strike on Wednesday over delayed payment of wages, arrears and regularisation of workers among other demands.

Belonging to several unions, they gathered in front of Chief Minister Kejriwal’s residence to protest. “Every time we raise our demands, they pacify us and hand us a lollipop, but this time we are not going to budge,” said a union leader Deepak Pihal.

Referring to the High Court’s recent verdict setting aside the Delhi government’s order raising minimum wages, Mr. Pihal said, “Salaries go up regularly, but this is the first time we have heard of salaries actually coming down.”

Other demands

While officials in all three corporations said that work had not been effected on Wednesday, Swatchatta Karmachari union president Sanjay Gahlot said that protests would be intensified in the coming days with demonstrations planned in Rohini and Dwarka on Thursday.

A statement by the union said protesters demanded regularisation of workers who were hired in 2017, issuance of cashless medical cards and payment of final dividends to retired workers.

Could not meet CM

Raising slogans of “ ab ki baar aakhri baar [This time is the last time]”, demonstrators set ablaze an effigy of the Chief Minister. They were unable to meet the Chief Minister as he is out of station.

In response to the strike, East Delhi Mayor Bipin Bihari Singh said, “The EDMC is in dire financial crisis, but we will look into their demands and try to reach a workable solution.”

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