Tamil Nadu

Sacked TNUHDB staff demand reinstatement

Over 150 contract employees of the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board TNUHDB), who were recently terminated without any notice, have appealed to the State Government to reinstate them.

Expressing disappointment about the sudden termination in the middle of the pandemic, some of them who had worked at the Board for nearly 20 years, said that it would not be possible for them to find another job. Those terminated were part of a group of 260 contract employees in the roles of junior assistants, typists and office assistants. Their experience at the Board ranged from less than two years to 20 years.

While the Board was engaging these contract employees directly, a few years ago it outsourced the contract to Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (ELCOT), which in turn outsourced it to a private company. “Many of us have do not know have any connection with ELCOT or the private company. However, on paper, we are technically the employees of the private company,” said one of the terminated employees.

A woman employee who had worked for nearly 20 years in various divisions of the Board said that the termination was unexpected. “We were working till January 5. The next day, we were asked not to sign the attendance register. Later that day, we were shown an order asking the section heads not to engage any of the contract employees,” she said. With her husband working in a private company for a modest salary, she said that it would be difficult to run her family. “Many of my colleagues who were terminated are in their late thirties or forties. How can they get another job now,” she asked.

While TNUHDB has retained about 100 of the 260 employees, one of the terminated employees said the process by which these 100 were chosen seemed arbitrary. “They were not retained based on experience or qualification, but based on the opinion of the the respective section head,” he said.

Those who were retained expressed concern over their reduced salaries. Earlier, they were paid consolidated salaries of ₹21,000, ₹18,000 and ₹13,000 after deductions. However, their contracts have now been changed to daily wage system with pay only for the working days.

‘ELCOT’s decision’

A senior official from TNUHDB said that it was not the decision of the Board but that of ELCOT to withdraw its scheme of providing manpower to different government departments on a contract basis.

He said that the Board had nevertheless retained nearly 50% of the contract employees on a temporary basis based on their performance.

He said that steps were being taken to fill the vacancies through Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission.


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Printable version | May 26, 2022 4:49:41 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/over-150-terminated-employees-of-tnuhdb-demand-reinstatement/article38275513.ece