The Madurai Corporation Employees Union (affiliated to CITU) on Tuesday staged a protest against implementation of Government Order 152.
The protestors, who gathered at Arignar Anna Complex, the Corporation headquarters, demanded quashing the order of the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department that proposed to reduce the number of office postings in all 20 Corporations in the State except Greater Chennai Corporation.
“If this is implemented, the number of postings would be reduced from 35,000 to 3,417. This is bound to affect the livelihood of the employees, especially those in Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ category, since the State will be able to outsource the jobs and appoint officers on a contract basis,” said K. Meenakshi Sundaram, CITU district president.
He alleged that it would lead to a revenue loss for the government and the salaries for the workers would not be regular. He noted that the Corporation would fail to function efficiently with a meek strength of “temporary workers.”
CITU general secretary M. Balasubramaniam said that outsourcing would not provide job security to the workers. “The salaries are bound to be lesser than what we are paid now. Further, we fear that there would be no transparency in the recruitment processes, which would increase the competitive attitude and give scope for manipulation through corruption in the process,” he noted.
Their demands included implementing the High Court order to confer permanent status on sanitary workers of Madurai Corporation. The workers said that being made to remain temporary employees, though working twice as hard, is a way of “exploiting” them by giving them a lesser salary.
They also wanted disbursal of retirement benefits to retired permanent employees, providing Pehchan card to all workers to avail medical benefits at ESI scheme and settling dues in Employment Provident Fund (EPF).
The protesters also demanded disbursal of minimum wages as spelt out in the Government Order No. 62 (2D), according to which daily, contract and consolidated workers must be paid a new minimum wage from ₹509 to ₹708 per day. K. Panjavarnam, a conservancy worker lamented that they receive no manual bills for their salaries that they receive around 15th and 20th every month.
Around 1,000 petitions were submitted to Deputy Commissioner P.N.M. Mujibur Rahuman.