SDMC sanitation workers call off strike

The two-day strike by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) sanitation workers was called off on Monday after a meeting with the Delhi Police.

Police assurance

The strike was called off after the workers were allegedly assured that BJP Councillor from Chhattarpur Anita Tanwar and her husband Ranbir Tanwar will be arrested for assaulting a sanitation worker on Friday.

Rajkumar Godla, the zonal head of the United Front of MCD Employees’ Associations, said union representatives had met police officers demanding the arrest of Ms. Tanwar and her husband for assaulting and threatening a government servant on duty.

“We have been assured that the Councillor and her husband will be put behind bars and the worker given justice. However, we will resume the strike if the arrests are not made,” said Mr. Godla.

Everyday issue

He said the union had decided to wait for two days for the arrests to take place. The workers alleged that assaults by BJP councillors had become an everyday issue.

“They think we are their personal workers. A protocol needs to be followed. We have been working much before they came to power and faced no problems,” added Mr. Godla.

Congress leader and Andrews Ganj Councillor Abhishek Dutt said it is usual for elected representatives to get frustrated if work is not done as per their wishes but physically assaulting sanitation staff is not acceptable.

Fourth case in 2 months

“The problem is that this is happening far too frequently. This is the fourth time in two months that a sanitation worker has been mishandled by a BJP councillor. If you have complaints against the working of the staff, there are democratic platforms to raise them. There is no excuse for getting physical with anyone,” Mr. Dutt said.

Mr. Dutt added that the Congress will bring the incident to the notice of the Mayor and the Commissioner in the next meeting of the House.

Meanwhile, South Delhi Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat denied that a strike had been on.

‘Grave allegation’

“All sanitation workers reported for duty and for the special drive that happened on Sunday. The accused councillor was not at fault and officials from the municipality itself have come forward to support her case. This is a grave allegation and there is no chance that a councillor can slap a sanitation worker and get away with it easily,” Ms. Sehrawat said.

The Mayor added that a case had not been registered against Ms. Tanwar because no evidence was found against her or her husband. She said that the workers’ union had not met her to discuss the case.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2020 3:24:10 AM |

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