Maids working in the Gulmohar Trends Housing Complex in Dhakoli, Zirakpur, brought the society to a boil on Wednesday as they struck work over not being allowed to use lifts.
The society has over 300 houses including flats up to the sixth floor and some independent duplexes where maids were not allowed to use lifts for the past two months. Some maids alleged they were asked to pay Rs 500 as fine or pull their ears and apologise after they were ‘caught using lifts’.
The society’s management association president KR Sharma said maids get paid for their work and are not doing charity. He went on to say this was just a ploy employed by maids to get a salary hike.
The society executive committee passed a resolution in its general body meeting on December 13 which said vendors and maids were not allowed in lifts to ‘save electricity and to preserve them as they were 10-years-old’ said Sharma. He said other measures had also been taken to save power and new lifts would cost a lot so it was better to make ‘optimum use’.
Sharma said the lift maintenance company had suggested the measure as ‘it was done in other cities too’. He added, “We allow older maids and those who are physically challenged or pregnant to use the lift.”
Women from the society supported the maids who were holding a sit-in at the society gate. They also argued vociferously with Sharma.
Sharma called the cops who left after a while as protesters remained calm through the melee. Even as residents indulged in a blame game Sharma left in a huff without talking to protesters. They wanted him to apologise besides revoking the ban.
The protest continued for around five hours before the maids dispersed and resolved not to work until an apology and ban revocation was done.