Delhi sanitation workers’ strike may spread to other parts as meeting fails
While the MCD Swachhta Karamchari Union continued its strike in east Delhi, it rival, Swatantra Majdoor Sayunkt Morcha, with members in three municipal corporations, threatened to go on strike from October 16.delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2017 23:38 IST
The ongoing sanitation strike that has so far been restricted to East Delhi is likely to escalate and spread to other parts of the National Capital from Monday as a meeting called by the commissioners of the three municipalities with the workers failed to resolve the deadlock.
While the MCD Swachhta Karamchari Union continued its strike in east Delhi, it rival, Swatantra Majdoor Sayunkt Morcha, with members in three municipal corporations, threatened to go on strike from October 16.
The striking workers are demanding regularisation of daily wagers, issuing medical cashless cards, payment of arrears (pending since 2003) and a merger of the three civic agencies.
To avert the situation, the MCD officials recommended solutions to workers, but failed to convince them.
“Unlike South DMC, the north and east corporations have not paid the arrears to its employees and this amounts to ₹2,000 crore. We recommended the officials to raise the funds from South DMC as loan as the Delhi government is not ready to pay extra money. But they had no concrete response to the demand,” said Sanjeev Java, president, Swatantra Majdoor Sayunkt Morcha.
Regarding the unions’ demand for the regularisation of daily wagers from 1998 till date (in all three corporations), the commissioners announced to revert in 15 days. “They are just buying time so that the festival season gets over and residents do not face problems. But we are in no mood to compromise this time,” said Java.
Ranvir Singh, commissioner, EDMC said that the decision on most of the issues raised by the sanitation workers has to be taken by the elected body. “That why we offered them to help the officials in preparing a proposal for regularisation of daily wagers, so that it can be approved in house meetings,” he said.
Also, in place of issuing cashless insurance cards, officials advised the sanitation workers to avail health insurance. “Since we are facing a financial crisis, it would be difficult to pay hospitals bills against the cashless insurance cards. We advised workers to avail health insurance, which will require equal contribution from employee and the employer,” said Singh.
The RWAs of east Delhi has also met the EDMC mayor Neema Bhagat.
“She told us that the salary for the month of September has been paid and bonus will be paid in a few days. But EDMC doesn’t have money for the arrears. Does that means residents of east Delhi will continue to live in a mess?” said Vinod Kumar, member of Anand Vihar RWA.
The north corporation is running under the deficit of ₹2,794 crore, and the east corporation ₹2,041 crores.