Sanitation workers protest in Gurugram, demand regularisation of jobs
Sanitation workers hired by Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) have held a protest demanding regularisation of existing employees and hiring of more workers. The workers threatened to stop cleaning the city if their demands are not met within a week. They are also asking for the abolition of the contractual labour system, implementation of equal pay and restoration of the old pension scheme. MCG officials say the city has 3,137 sanctioned posts and all of them are currently filled, but the workers contend that there is a requirement of around 6,250 sanitation workers given the city?s population of over a million.
At least 3,000 contractual workers engaged by Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) for sanitation work held a protest near Galleria Market in DLF Phase 4 and demanded regularisation of existing employees and hiring of more workers in accordance with the city’s growing requirements.
The protesters also threatened to hold marches across the city, go on hunger strike and stop cleaning the city if their demands are not met within a week. “Our main demands are abolition of the contractual labour system, implementation of equal pay and restoration of the old pension scheme,” said Ram Singh, president of Nagar Nigam Safai Karamchari Sangh, a sanitation workers’ union.
Earlier in October, sanitation workers had stopped collecting garbage and also littered the streets and punctured the tyres of waste dumpers as part of their protest against the municipal corporation.
According to officials, 6,000 employees and contractual workers of the MCG were on strike from October 19, and they had stopped cleaning streets in residential areas and public places. It had resulted in garbage piling up in different areas across Gurugram. They called off the strike only after the state government agreed to consider their demands and to come up with a policy for the regularisation of jobs.
But even after six months, nothing has been done on these fronts, they alleged.
Singh said government has failed to keep its promise to recruit more contractual staff. “We had already told the civic body that if we find that false promises have been given, we will again protest against the state government and will start another strike. Our main demands are abolition of the contractual labour system, implementation of equal pay and restoration of the old pension scheme,” he said.
Naresh Malkat, state secretary of Nagar Palika Karamchari Sangh, said,“The government has betrayed us. Despite tall claims, nothing was done on the ground. If the situation remains the same, we will be forced to stop sweeping the roads and garbage will not be lifted. Sewer cleaning workers have not been recruited to match the city’s population. Many sanitation workers have died of Covid-19 over the past three years but nothing has been done to recruit more people in their places,” he said.
MCG officials said that Gurugram has 3,137 sanctioned posts and all of them are currently filled. Hence, no recruitment can take place. But the workers contended that there is a requirement of around 6,250 sanitation workers given the city’s population of over a million.
They want the civic body to recruit sanitation workers on the basis of the existing population, which that can be done only after a fresh assessment, said officials.
While regularisation remains the primary demand of the protesting workers, the other demands include disbursal of salaries on the first of every month and safety gear for all sanitation workers.
MCG joint commissioner Naresh Kumar said they will hold meetings with union leaders and will present their demands before the state government. “We are trying to resolve the issue at the earliest,” he said.