Over 8,000 National Urban Livelihoods Mission workers call off protest for wage hike

This follows Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan meeting their representatives, with the civic body agreeing to increase their pay from ₹687 per day to ₹753 per day

Updated - July 12, 2024 12:55 am IST

Published - July 11, 2024 06:53 pm IST - CHENNAI

GCC Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan meeting the representatives of NUML workers in Chennai on Thursday.

GCC Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan meeting the representatives of NUML workers in Chennai on Thursday. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

More than 8,000 workers, hired under the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), decided to call off protests demanding a wage hike on Thursday. After Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) Commissioner J. Radhakrishnan held a meeting with representatives, the civic body agreed to increase the wages from ₹687 per day to ₹753 per day for sanitation workers, dog catchers, malaria control workers, slaughterhouse employees, and workers for impounding cattle. 

The workers have been organising protests in zones such as Ambattur. At the meeting, the workers, led by K. Barathi, also wanted the GCC to shelve the proposal to outsource conservancy operations in zones such as Royapuram and Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said the GCC would explore the feasibility of shelving the proposal. He, however, said the decision to permit private operators was taken several years ago and had been implemented in most zones, and added that the civic body would protect the livelihood of the workers.

As many as 1,000 women and over 400 male workers had been protesting in Ambattur zone over the past few days, leading to a rise in civic issues reported by residents in the 13 wards.

The wages will be paid from April 1, 2024, and arrears will be settled next month. The number of complaints about mosquitoes in the city has been on the rise in the past few days. Similarly, waste collection and animal birth control operations have also been hit. Over 4,000 employees of the NULM are involved in garbage collection, while 2,000 workers are deployed for malaria control in the city. At least 75 dog catchers in the city are hired under the NULM.

V. Hari Prasanth, secretary of the Uzhaippor Urimai Iyakkam, said the GCC had agreed to the demand for toilets for women workers, maternity leave, mask, and gloves for all workers. The NULM workers have also demanded permanent jobs. The civic body is expected to incur an additional expenditure of ₹40 crore to implement the proposals based on demands of the workers.

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