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North corporation employees threaten strike again over pending wages

By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON DEC 01, 2020 11:36 PM IST

Hundreds of North Delhi Municipal Corporation employees — including engineers, teachers, ministerial and horticulture staff — have again threatened to go on a strike later this month against non-payment of their pending salaries.

The north body employees had called off their indefinite strike earlier last month after they were promised a month’s salary before Diwali, with the remaining dues — along with bonus and pension — being cleared by the end of November 2020.

Representatives of Confederation of MCD Employees Union said that they were just given a month’s salary before Diwali and are yet to get paid for four months. They said that they have written to the mayor and the commissioner about the issue of non-payment and had also told them that they will be compelled to go on a strike if their demands are not met.

AP Khan, convener of Confederation of MCD Employees Union — an umbrella body of civic workers in the three municipalities— said that the salary of employees is pending for August, September, October and November months for north corporation employees.

“This has become a regular affair now. We were promised that pendency (of salaries) will be cleared by November end. But those promises turned out to be shallow. We had a meeting with the north corporation mayor (Jai Prakash) on Monday, where he again promised to solve the issue by the end of this week. So, we are waiting till December 4 and if our grievances are not met by then we will have no option but to go on strike again,” Khan said. He added that a decision regarding date and timing of the strike and future course of action will be decided in a meeting with the employees unions on Wednesday.

There are nearly 55,000 employees in the north corporation and requires nearly Rs 360 crore to pay salaries and pensions every months. Earlier, employees of horticulture department, engineers, teachers, clerical staff, group D staff — including labourers and beldars — of north corporation had gone on strike on November 9, but the agitation was called off the next day after assurances from municipal authorities.

Jai Prakash, mayor north corporation, said that strike was not a solution for payment of pending salaries. He appealed to the employees to understand the financial situation of the corporation and “have faith in the system”.

“We are arranging funds to release pending salaries of employees. Salary disbursement is our top priority. But we just need cooperation from our employees too as the municipality is undergoing a financial crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Prakash said.

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