Sanitation staff on strike since Nov 6, Greater Noida ropes in private workers
There are a total of 1,400 contractual sanitation workers in Greater Noida who are on strike since November 6, raising a slew of demands, including an increase in salary
The Greater Noida authority has enlisted the help of private sanitation workers to clean the city, after the authority’s sanitation staff is continuing with a strike since the past 10 days, raising a slew of demands, including an increase in the salary.
The city roads, public places and several localities are sporting heaps of garbage,which gets dragged around by stray cattle and dogs, said residents.
There are a total of 1,400 contractual sanitation workers in Greater Noida who are on strike since November 6. Around 800 sanitation workers have been regularly staging agitation near Jaitpur area, near the authority office.
Sanitation workers’ association alleged that aside from the salary increment and bonus, there are a few other demands which are yet to be met. “Earlier, in case of death of an employee, his/her family was given ₹5 lakh. This was later increased to ₹10 lakh but only in case of accidental death.This we condemn. Also, workers are made to report to work at 6am and it is very taxing on us to reach so early as some workers live far away and often meet with accidents in their hurry to report for duty. All these problems should be considered,” Ranbeer Janghara, district president of UP Sanitary Workers’ Association, said.
He further said, “We have been raising our demands before the authority two months prior to the commencement of strike after salaries for the months of May and June, of around 350 workers, failed to be released. Salaries for August and September have not been released for around 140 workers. We were demanding that the salary dues be cleared along with Diwali bonus but that did not happen.”
“On January 1, 2023, the state government ordered a salary hike for Grade 4 employees of Greater Noida authority but it is yet to be implemented. We are being paid only up to ₹14,000 a month in-hand, instead of ₹17,000 in-hand, as ordered by the government. Even though we are not happy with current state of cleanliness of the city, we have been forced to resort to a strike as we are failing to meet our expenses and feed our families,” said Janghara
Officials at Greater Noida authority said private workers have been hired for cleaning the city in view of the strike. Officer on special duty (OSD), public health, Rajni Kant said, “We have hired more workers on a contractual basis who will assist the department in cleaning the city as the authority’s sanitation staff have remained on a strike. Sanitation work will now resume with the help of mechanical sweeping machines.”
Residents, meanwhile, have been complaining about the abysmal condition of roads, public places and neighbourhoods, alleging that the strike has resulted in several issues. Garbage is not being lifted from their localities while door-to-door trash collection has also been halted, they said.
Among the areas affected by the strike are sectors Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma. “Heaps of filth litter the so-called ‘hi-tech’ city since the past many days, stinking up the entire area,” said Deepak Singh, a resident of Delta 2.
“The garbage collection service has been halted and no one has been coming to collect the trash and the situation was the same even before Diwali. We are managing the situation somehow,” said Shivam Vij, a resident of Sector Beta 1.
Officials of Greater Noida authority said even though salary and Diwali bonus were released to the sanitation workers, they are refusing to return to work.
“The sanitation workers have several demands, including pay parity with authority staff,” said the OSD.