Lucknow: Outsourced staff of CM’s helpline create ruckus, 4 held

Protest: Staff allege non payment of salary, agency managing helpline says contract specified there would be no salary during training.

lucknow Updated: Mar 10, 2018 14:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh,Protest
Protesters gathered outside the Cyber Heights building in Vibhuti Khand that houses the 1076 helpline office.(HT)

Levelling allegations of harassment and non-payment of salary, around 300 outsourced employees working at the chief minister’s integrated grievance redressal toll-free helpline (1076) created ruckus on Friday. The uproar was triggered after one of the women protesters fainted during the agitation outside the helpline’s office at Cyber Heights in Vibhuti Khand. The 1076 helpline became operation on February 13, but a formal launch is still to take place.

‘Staff eligible for salary only after helpline started operating’
  • PC Srivastava, managing director of UP Development Systems Corporation Ltd (state agency authorised for hiring private agencies) said that as per the contract the outsourced staff was eligible for salary only after the helpline started operating. “The helpline started operating since February 13. The salary from February 13 till 28 will be paid soon as per the contract,” said Srivastava.

The agitation ended only after the police arrested four male protestors and registered an FIR against them for causing nuisance and inciting others for the same. The district administration officials also appealed to the protesters to remain calm and assured them that the matter would be looked into.

Inspector Vibhuti Khand Satyendra Kumar Rai said some of the outsourced staff had been protesting for the last few weeks, demanding salary for the three-month training period. “The same group of 300 employees was agitating on Friday morning too. The trouble started when a protester Shalu Yadav fainted and had to be rushed to Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital,” he said.

Rai said some protestors accused the management of the private agency handling the helpline of poisoning Shalu. They protesters also alleged that agency officials locked some of them in a room and forced them to sign resignation letters. “Hundreds of other staff members also gathered at the hospital after being told of the girl’s ‘poisoning’ and demanded action against the agency management,” said Rai.

“However, the doctors denied poisoning after examining the girl. They said she fainted due to weakness and mental pressure. Extra police force was called in from Gomti Nagar police station when the crowd of protestors started swelling. The agitation was called off after additional city magistrate (ACM) IV Amit Kumar assured the agitators that he would look into the matter,” said Rai.

He said four youths who were provoking other employees “were arrested to prevent commission of cognizable offences under section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)”.

Meanwhile, ACM IV Amit Kumar said that according to the agency managing the helpline, over 1,000 outsourced employees were hired for the project. “They said it was made clear to the staff that no salary would be paid for the training period, which was around three months,” said Kumar.

He said most of the staff was clear about the contract rules, but some of them started misleading others by demanding salary for the training period. “The agency management said that salaries of all staff members were credited to their accounts as per their attendance record since 13 February, 2018 (when the training ended). The agency will now clearly display the contract details outside the call centre office at cyber heights so that nobody else gets misled,” said Kumar.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 14:02 IST