On International Labour Day, two associations of Bhopal staged a protest and demanded better working conditions.
About 8000 sanitary cleaners from All India Cleaners Congress Trade Union staged a silent protest at Shahjani Park. The workers had gathered here in Bhopal from across the state and stated their 34 work related demands. Union’s state head, Magan Jhanjhot said the cleaners work in deplorable conditions. “Even after giving several memorandums to concerned authorities, we haven’t got justice”, he added.
Later CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan reached the park and assured the sanitation workers that their grievances will be heard. The major demands included – contractors should not be present as middlemen, 5 % reservation to be separately given to Valmiki janitors under article 341, 14, 15, 16 of constitution which refer to the reservation of scheduled castes and tribes, a yearly package should be declared for all cleaners and janitors, employment should be given by direct appointment.
Labourers working on the site of Gammon India protest
In another protest about 400 labourers working on the site of Gammon India created a ruckus and lay down on link road 1, to express their disappointment over their working conditions. The labourers alleged that Gammon India had not paid them their wages from past few months. The complained that they were finding it hard to make both ends meet because of Gammon.
Congress leaders PC Sharma and Yogendra Singh Chouhan joined the protest to support the labourers. “We have given a memorandum to the company and they have asked for three days to consider our grievances,” said Chouhan.
The Congress leaders said that, about 500 labourers have been allegedly forced out of jobs by Gammon India and have also been replaced because the company has not paid them salary from past 6 months.
The project of Gammon India in Bhopal has been controversial since 2008 and many residents of the city view it as a land grab plan. The state government prefers to call it a product of urban city planning