The strike by safai karamcharis of the Municipal Council of Udhampur entered the 19th day despite the district administration's warning of invoking the Essential Service Maintenance Act 2001 (ESMA) if the civic body's workers refused to return to work within the next 24 hours.
The district administration said the strike by safai karamcharis since July 4 has caused inconvenience to the public. It appealed to the civic workers to resume their duties, keeping in view the religious occasions in this month such as the ongoing Amarnath Yatra and the Ramzan.
Even after a meeting between the district administration and the safai karamcharis was held on Saturday, deadlock continued over the demands of the protestors. Additional deputy commissioner Vikas Sharma attended the meeting, in which a few citizens also participated to extend their support to the protesters.
According to Girdhari Lal, president of the Safai Karamcharis Union, Udhampur, the ADC had assured the protestors that the Directorate of Urban Local Bodies would consider the demands before September 15, when the Modal Code of Conduct will be enforced. However, Lal said they had urged them to consider their demands before August 15.
The safai karamcharis have been demanding that the government make employees, who have worked for more than seven years, permanent and provide them the wage arrears of the last eight months. Last year, the union had organised a state-wide strike and the government had promised to address this issue.