After a partial strike failed to stir the municipal corporations, the Centre or the Delhi government into action, employee unions of the three civic bodies in Delhi said they would join hands to go on an indefinite strike starting January 27.
Union leaders told HT that the repeated threats of strikes failed to get the authorities to release funds for the salaries of thousands of employees. They said they did not get any communication from the governments.
“It is astonishing that while every government claims to be working for the people, they have not reached out to us despite our protests over unpaid salaries. Do we only count during the election season?” said Sanjay Gehlot, president, Swatantra Majdoor Vikas Sayunkt Morcha.
At least 70,000 of the total 1.3 lakh municipal employees have been protesting to demand their salaries and delayed arrears that haven’t been paid for more than three months.
More than a thousand municipal employees staged a protest on Friday, bringing the corporation to a partial standstill. “It seems that it makes no difference to the government whether our salaries are paid or not. Though we don’t want to cause any inconvenience to the general public, more than 30 unions of the municipal corporation have joined hands and we will go on strike from January 27, if our salaries are not paid,” said Gehlot.
The municipal officials, however, said attempts are being made to release the salaries to the employees. “We have released the salaries of all the employees for the month of October and have now initiated the plans to release other arrears as well,” said a senior official of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The three municipal corporations have a total staff of 1.3 lakh employees, including 60,000 sanitation workers. The rest includes paramedical staff, engineers, teachers and administrative staff.