SDMC sanitation workers not getting EPF for over a year, says Cong leader
Thousands of contractual sanitation workers of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) have not been getting benefits under the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) scheme for over a year, Congress councillor Abhishek Dutt claimed during the civic body’s house meeting on Tuesday.
EPF is a mandatory contribution made by an individual as well as her employer every month, as per the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Act, 1952. The amount is contributed equally by the employees and employer.
Currently there are 10,500 contractual workers in SDMC. According to Abhishek Dutt, all of them have not been getting the benefit despite the EPF Act, which makes it mandatory for any organisation with 20 or more employees to provide the benefit.
“The contractual workers have been working in unhygienic conditions but the civic body has failed to extend any benefit such as cashless cards, EPF, proper uniforms and adequate salary so that they (the sanitation workers) can avail their medical bills. I wrote to the commissioner on this issue but no action has been taken so far,” he said. “Temporary workers engaged with the MCDs get around Rs 13,000 salary, but they are not provided cashless medical cards, safety gear and are forced to work in unhygienic conditions,” he added.
When asked to comment on the allegations, no senior SDMC official was willing to come on record. A senior SDMC official, who did not wish to be identified, however claimed the decision had been taken as “workers did not want the amount deducted from their salaries”. “We took the decision of not deducting a portion of the EPF money because workers did not want it to be deducted,” the official claimed.
The civic agency, however, said they had already issued an order making it compulsory for all departments to deduct the fund and it would be implemented from next month.
Sanitation workers’ organisations rejected the SDMC’s claims.
General Secretary of the United Front of MCD Employees Rajendra Mewati said, “None of the three civic agencies have record of the money contributed under EPF scheme. This has forced us to raised objection over the implementation of scheme.”
Rajesh Beniwal president of Akhil Bhartiya Safai Mazdoor Congress Trade Union said, “We have raised the matter of our EPFs being deducted with MCD officials many times in the past, but despite being assured (of action), nothing has happened so far.”
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