Corridors, wards overflow with trash as sanitation workers strike for Diwali bonus at Chandigarh’s GMCH

Published on Nov 17, 2020 01:08 AM IST
The officials of the hospital administration said there was no mandatory provision for providing a bonus to the employees of hospitals
Contractual sanitation workers protesting over non-payment of Diwali Bonus at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32,Chandigarh, on Monday.(KESHAV SINGH/HT)
Contractual sanitation workers protesting over non-payment of Diwali Bonus at Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32,Chandigarh, on Monday.(KESHAV SINGH/HT)
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

The corridors and wards of the Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 on Monday wore a picture of gross neglect as the 300-odd sanitation workers, who have been hired through a contractor, went on a strike demanding the grant of Diwali bonus.

While the workers held a demonstration on the hospital campus by raising slogans against the administration, the patients and healthcare workers wore the brunt of their absence.

The dustbins placed in the corridors, wards, waiting area and other places in the hospital could be seen overflowing with garbage. Even sinks were clogged at some places, and the patients and their attendants were seen navigating through the heaps of hospital waste.

Till Monday evening, the floors had not been cleaned and the garbage was not picked for more than 12 hours.

‘Bonus not granted first time in a decade’

Om Kailash, the chairman of the GMCH-32 Safai Karamchari Union, said it was only three days ago that they were told that the Diwali bonus will not be granted. “The bonus amount had never been suspended in the last decade,” he said.

Garbage accumulating inside a ward at GMCH-32. (HT PHOTO)
Garbage accumulating inside a ward at GMCH-32. (HT PHOTO)

“We immediately started the protest and no worker joined duties, except in the emergency ward, on Monday. We have apprised the authorities that the strike will continue till their demand is not met,” Kailash said.

‘Reported to duty despite odds’

Kailash said that the contractual sanitation workers had put in extra efforts during the pandemic times, reporting to duties no time despite all odds.

The officials of the hospital administration, however, said that there was no mandatory provision for providing a bonus to the employees of hospitals.

Jasbir Singh, joint director of the GMCH administration, said, “The workers should resume their duties because the contractors, through which they were hired, are marking them absent and their salaries will not be paid for those days. The workers are being hoodwinked by a few people claiming to be their leaders. They can democratically protest for their demand, but they should resume their duties. The hospital is not liable to pay any bonus to the employees and such is the case in every hospital administered by the UT administration.”

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