Contractual sanitation workers on Wednesday threatened to strike again if the Noida authority fails to do away with middlemen. Sanitation workers are miffed with the officials after the authority floated an online tender to hire three private agencies for providing sanitation workers.
In mid-December last year, sanitation workers had stopped collecting municipal waste, cleaning roads and transporting waste from residential areas to landfill sites. The city had turned into a garbage mess from December 6-16, during the strike.
On December 16, the workers had called off their strike after authority officials promised to address their demands.
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 and horticulture. The workers were also demanding permanent jobs, priority to contract workers in the government’s affordable houses and health benefits.
The contractual workers are paid ₹8,000-₹18,500 per month by private contractors, after deduction of 2.5% commission.
“We will stop work again if the Noida authority does not withdraw the tender to hire contractors. This time, the agitation will be on a larger scale than it was in December. The authority is cheating us by floating the tender. We demanded that the authority credits the salary directly to our accounts because the private contractor charges 2.5% commission on our salary. We also demanded permanent jobs for those who have been working for more than 10 years,” Shiv Kumar, a leader of the sanitation workers, said.
A group of sanitation employees on Wednesday met the deputy chief executive officer of Noida authority, Saumya Srivastava, in the Sector 6 administrative building in this regard.
“We had, in December 2016, sent a proposal to the state government regarding the demands of the workers. We are waiting for the final decision on their demands. We put a tender online to hire three private agencies that will pay workers their monthly salary, but we will not process the tender before March 11. We hope that by then, the state government will clarify on the issues pertaining to sanitation workers. Workers need not worry as the state government will look into their demands,” Deepak Agarwal, the chief executive officer of Noida authority, said.