Contractual workers lock gates of four Noida authority offices
Around 4,200-4,600 workers hired on a contract basis by various private agencies work in various departments of the Noida authority such as sanitation, water, sewer, horticulture and others. The protesting workers have been demanding permanent jobs, health benefits and priority in government’s affordable housing schemes.noida Updated: Jul 28, 2017 22:14 IST
Contractual workers with the Noida authority continued their protest for the third day on Friday. They disrupted official work and locked the gates of four authority offices in sectors 19, 20, 39 and 5.
Around 4,200-4,600 workers hired on a contract basis by various private agencies work in various departments of the Noida authority such as sanitation, water, sewer, horticulture and others. The protesting workers have been demanding permanent jobs, health benefits and priority in government’s affordable housing schemes.
Due to the ongoing strike, sanitation has been hit and garbage has been accumulating in various areas in the city. At some places, household garbage is strewn on the roads with stray cattle and dogs feeding on it.
Garbage collectors using pushcarts and rickshaws collect municipal solid waste from residential and industrial sectors in Noida, which they segregate at nearby dump yards (primary garbage collection centres). They sell plastic material to earn money and dump the remaining waste as per their convenience. The contractual sanitation workers, with the help of 126 vehicles, then transport this waste from dump yards to designated places.
“Due to the strike, sanitation workers have stopped collecting and transporting garbage. As a result, municipal solid waste is lying at primary garbage collection centres located outside each sector. In many areas, garbage has spilled on to the roads,” said Bharat Bhushan, a resident of Sector 11.
“We don’t have any other way to transport garbage. The city magistrate and other top officials are talking to the workers to end the strike so that they can return to work and clear the mess,” said RS Yadav, senior project engineer (health), Noida authority.
The contractual workers are paid between Rs8,000 and Rs18,500 a month by private contractors.
“If the Noida authority does not remove private agencies that charge 2.5% commission on salary, our protest and strike will continue indefinitely. We have been working with the authority for the past 20 years. It should now give us permanent jobs and hire us directly,” said Davendra Sharma, a leader of the protesting workers.
On Friday, around 500 to 600 employees also gathered at the sector 5 and sector 39 offices shouting slogans against the UP government demanding permanent jobs.
“The private agency has been giving us salary late by one or two months because the authority is delaying payment to them. Why has the authority been harassing us for such a long time? Now is the time for the government to do justice to our demands,” said Sanjay Kumar, a contractual worker.
On Wednesday, Noida authority’s chief executive officer (CEO) Amit Mohan Prasad had appointed Rajesh Kumar Singh, officer on special duty, to talk to the workers. However, the authority could not convince them to end their strike.
“We have called the workers for talks several times, but they are not coming to the table for discussions. If they do not have a dialogue, how will issues be addressed? We cannot give them permanent jobs because the UP government has to take a decision on that. We had sent a proposal to the government about 3,200 workers’ request for permanent jobs. The authority does not have a requirement of 4,200 or 4,600 workers,” said Ashok Kumar Shrivastava, additional CEO, Noida authority.