Furious over non-payment of salaries, municipal employees led a protest near Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house on Wednesday morning, besides going on an indefinite strike from today. Approximately 500 workers were seen shouting slogans and burned an effigy of the chief minister who they hold responsible for the delay.
Protestors were however blocked by the Delhi police and later dispersed. They now plan to sit in at Jantar Mantar to continue their indefinite strike until their salaries and arrears are paid in full.
Conflict between municipal employees and the Delhi government has been on-again off-again for many months now over non-payment of salaries, effecting the sanitation situation in the city. The current strike is expected be the hardest hit the city has yet to take.
In October last year, municipal employees had gone on strike on the same issue and the most visible impact was the heaps of garbage that piled up along the roads during the strike. Sanitation workers have been at the forefront of the strike and had also threatened to stop work earlier after which money was released for salaries.
This, according to municipal corporation officials, was enough only for salaries till December last year.
According to employee organization heads, all employees will join the strike to put pressure on the state and central government to release funds for the remaining payments.
“More than half of all the employees have not received their salaries and our silent protests have failed to move the governments. We will have to go on an indefinite strike to made our voice heard,” Sanjay Gehlot, president, Swatantra Majdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha had said on Tuesday.
On Monday, Kejriwal said that the Delhi government did not owe any money to the municipal corporations and his government had this in writing from the commissioners.
“Mayors are political animals and they have a compulsion to raise such issues but we have it in writing from all the commissioners of the Municipal Corporations that the Delhi government does not owe them any money,” Kejriwal had said.
Meanwhile, Brijesh Shukla, member of a certain Swaraj Janta Party has written to the Delhi Police Commissioner and the Lieutenant Governor demanding action against Kejriwal for allegedly misleading the people of Delhi for saying that the municipal corporation is not under the Delhi government’s control.
“I filed an RTI and the Delhi government, in its reply, has said that the corporation is under its control. Kejriwal come out with a full-page advertisement in newspapers saying this was not the case. Action should be initiated against him for misleading people and spending public money for spreading lies,” Shukla has said in a letter to the Police Commissioner and the L-G.