A flash strike was announced by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation contract and outsourcing workers on Wednesday, demanding regularisation of employment, issue of health cards and allotment of house sites among others.
The strike notice was given by the TRS KV Greater Hyderabad Municipal Employees Union affiliated to the ruling party, at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, which was followed by another notice by the Municipal Contract Workers Union affiliated to the Indian National Trade Union Congress.
President of the GHMEU Udhari Gopal threatened that the entire contract and outsourcing staff in sanitation, entomology, veterinary, transport and horticulture wings will go on strike from Thursday.
On Wednesday, about 1,000 employees, most of them sanitation field assistants and entomology field assistants, struck work and conducted demonstration at the GHMC headquarters from morning till evening. Slogans were raised against the government and the Chief Minister.
Speaking to media, Mr. Gopal said the union had waited eagerly for favourable decisions during the last Cabinet meeting, and took decision on strike as the last resort in view of the news about impending dissolution of assembly and early elections.
“Neither the promise of health cards and house sites to the permanent employees nor the promise of regularisation of the contract employees has been fulfilled by the government during these four and a half years. We participated in the statehood movement in the hope of better lives. All our hopes are dashed,” said Mr. Gopal.
He reminded the promises made by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao before his party came to power, towards regularisation of contract/outsourcing employees, issue of health cards and housing sites to the permanent employees, and for an exclusive hospital for the GHMC workers, none of which have been fulfilled so far.
Alleging police high-handedness in not allowing the workers to step outside the GHMC office, he said the union henceforth will function without any political affiliations.
Claiming support from 15,000 to 20,000 workers from all wings, he said the sweepers and Swachh autos too would remain off duty on Thursday, and garbage transport to the Jawahar Nagar dump yard too will suffer as drivers will not be available.
Director of Enforcement, Vigilance, and Disaster Management Viswajit Kampati tried to dissuade the workers from their strike, assuring that the demands will be taken to the government’s notice, but to no avail.
Municipal Commissioner M. Dana Kishore, when contacted, said he was not informed about the sanitation workers’ participation in the strike, and assured people of the GHMC’s preparedness to face any eventuality. He said the demands would be conveyed to the government for a favourable decision.
The Municipal Contract Workers Union too, through a statement, declared a strike from Thursday, demanding absorption of the contract and outsourcing employees, enhancement of pay and restoration of transferred SFAs to their previous places