To protest 'anomalies' in the process of the regularisation of gardeners, members of different Class IV unions of the municipal corporation Jalandhar staged a dharna on Friday. They even locked offices of the MC.
Minister for local bodies, medical education and research, Bhagat Chunni Lal was scheduled to give appointment letters to 301 gardeners on Friday. However, the programme was cancelled citing 'emergency work', said sources in the MC.
Members of Nigam Safai Mazdur Union, Nagar Nigam Darja Char Karamchari Union, Sewermen Employees Union, Nagar Nigam Darja Char Maha Union and Driver and Technical Union gathered in the corporation office, alleging favouritism and violation of the seniority rule for recruitment of gardeners. The unions also had a grouse against promotion of sweepers into supervisors by MC officials, on the directions of the Mayor.
"There is no transparency. No list was ever displayed. There are so many workers, seniors to those who are being regularised and promoted, who have been ignored by the officials. Only those close to associates of mayor Rakesh Rathore are being accommodated," alleged Chandan Aggarwal, president of a Nagar Safai Mazdur Union.
"Those who were appointed during 1995-2000 have not been promoted, but all those who were appointed by Mayor himself during 2006-2008 are being promoted. It is gross violation of rules," said Naresh Kumar, president of Nagar Nigam Darja Char Karamchari Union.
Assistant commissioner Ved Vyas reached the spot and assured the workers that their grievances would be taken up.
Earlier, cabinet minister Bhagat Chuni Lal cancelled his function to give letters to those regularised.
Pawan Agnihotri, president , Karamchari Taalmel Committee, said: "The list has been finalised after proper scrutiny. The process lasted nearly a year. All those finalised, have rendered above ten years of services to the MC."
Mayor Rakesh Rathore denied any irregularities. "Due procedure was followed, while finalising the list. Employees were called thrice for an interview by a panel."
The gardeners, who were to be given recruitment letters, met the mayor 7.30 pm. "The mayor has shown us our appointment letters. We have been told that we will be given these on May 1," claimed Agnihotri.