CMWSSB sanitation workers seek permanent jobs, go on strike

CMWSSB contract workers staging a protest on Monday.

CMWSSB contract workers staging a protest on Monday. | Photo Credit: K. PICHUMANI

Tension prevailed on the premises of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) office at MRC Nagar as hundreds of sanitation workers employed on a contract basis went on a strike on Monday seeking permanent jobs.

Nearly 1,900 sanitation workers are employed by the board in various categories, including field workers, in sewage treatment plants and as operators.

Manikandan, a sanitation worker, said several workers had been serving on a contract basis for 7 to 20 years. “We get wages based on attendance and do not have any job security. If we take leave, we lose wages. People identify us with blue uniforms and we do not even have identity cards to show that we are CMWSSB workers,” he said.

The wage varies from ₹499 to ₹867 a day depending on the category of the job. If a worker dies, his family was not compensated adequately, said the protesters who have formed an association.

S. Gopal, a sanitation worker, said: “We worked tirelessly even during the COVID-19. Several petitions were given to CMWSSB and the State government. We want the Board to provide permanent employment based on seniority in a phased manner.” While many left the protest site after one round of talks with the officials failed, some continued their protest. They plan to organise another agitation in a few days.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2022 6:09:51 am |