Thousands of sanitation workers are going on an indefinite strike from July 31. The move spells bad news for a city where clogged drains and waterlogged roads have become a norm in the rainy season.
A majority of the city’s 50,000 sanitation workers are responsible for cleaning drains.
After failing to get any response from the three municipal corporations and the chief minister on their demands, the sanitation workers under the banner of All India Safai Mazdoor Congress announced that they would go on an indefinite strike from July 31.
“We have been holding demonstrations for the past few days. We had given the government a month to decide but they still have not agreed to our demands. We have no option but to stop work from Wednesday,” said Rajesh Beniwal, president of the Delhi unit of the All India Safai Mazdoor Congress.
He said they had been demanding that daily wage earners working in the corporation for several years should be made permanent employees.
“The civic agency has not even paid the arrears promised by the unified municipal corporation. If our demands are not met, not a single sanitation worker will clean the drains or sweep the roads,” he said.
He said the civic agency does not help if sanitation workers face trouble on duty.
“Whenever any employee faces any problem, the first question the officer asks is if the employee is a daily wage earner or a permanent staffer. This is discrimination and daily wage earners don’t get any benefits,” he added.
The union demanded shelters for women workers. A demonstration was also held outside the Lt. Governor’s office earlier this month.