Contracted sanitation workers who were protesting for ten days demanding direct transfer of salaries to their accounts ended their strike on Friday after Noida authority officials promised to address their demands.
Saumya Srivastava, the deputy chief executive officer of the Noida authority, along with other officials met the workers who had gathered at the Noida stadium in Sector 21A.
“The main reason for the protest was that the Noida authority should pay us our monthly wages directly, instead of making payment through private agencies. We have been refusing payment by private agencies as they charge a 2.5% commission on our salary. The DCEO and other officials promised to seek permission from the UP government to pay us directly. We ended the stir on the basis of their assurances,” Chaman Singh of Asthae Karmchari (contractual workers) Sangharsh Samiti said.
Workers are paid from ₹8,000-₹18,500 monthly by private contractors, who a charge 2.5% commission.
“Now we hope that the commission charged can be done away with,” Santosh Devi, a sweeper, said.
Around 4,200-4,600 workers are hired on a contract basis by various private agencies. They are employed in various departments of Noida authority —sanitation, water, sewer, horticulture etc. The workers were also demanding permanent jobs, priority to contracted workers in the government’s affordable houses and health benefits.
“The DCEO gave us a letter in which they have sought permission from the UP government to pay us our salary directly. Also, the officials assured to address all our demands by following procedures. We trust that our demands will be accepted. Therefore, we called off our protest. We will get back to work in evening,” Shiv Kumar, a contracted worker, said.
Protesting workers had locked the Noida authority’s Sector 39 office gate in the morning. Police arrived on the spot and dispersed the workers around 12 noon.
Around 400 workers had also gathered at the Sector 21A stadium. Water cannon, fire tender and police were deployed outside the Noida authority’s main administrative building in Sector 6, where workers were expected to register a strong protest.
“I met the workers at the Noida stadium. I have written to the UP government seeking permission to accept their demands. The city will be cleaned as workers have resumed work,” Srivastava said.
For the last ten days, workers had stopped collecting municipal waste, cleaning roads and transporting waste from residential areas to landfill sites. The city was turned into an unhygienic milieu over this period.
Garbage was also strewn onto the road in front of the Sector 24 government hospital, posing health risks to patients.