Noida streets stink as sanitation strike goes on for fifth day
Sanitation workers with the Noida authority have been demanding permanent jobs and uniform wagesnoida Updated: May 21, 2017 23:13 IST
Sanitation employees continued their strike for the fifth day on Sunday and refrained from clearing municipal waste, leading to garbage piling up in residential and industrial areas.
They also announced that they will hold a protest outside the Noida authority’s Sector 6 office at 10am on Monday.
“If the Noida authority fails to address our issues, we will continue our strike and will not clean the garbage. We have asked all our members not to remove garbage from roads and other areas. On Saturday, we held a protest march from Sector 6 to the district magistrate’s camp office in Sector 27. We will intensify our agitation if officials continue to ignore our demands,” said Ravi Parcha, a leader of sanitation employees.
In December 2016, contractual sanitation workers had boycotted work for 10 days, leading to garbage accumulating on the streets of Noida. They had ended their strike only after the authority promised to meet their demands.
“Our main demands are that all contractual employees, irrespective of their experience, get equal wages. The authority should also credit our salary directly to us so that the 2.5% commission that the private agencies cut also reaches the workers. We also demand permanent jobs,” said Santosh Devi, a sanitation worker.
Workers are paid between Rs8,000 and Rs18,500 a month by private contractors. “We demand removal of all contractors,” said Ravinder Balmiki, a sanitation worker. Around 4,200 workers have been hired on a contractual basis by various private agencies. They are employed in various departments of the Noida authority such as sanitation, waterworks and horticulture.
The workers have also demanded permanent jobs, priority to contractual workers in the government’s affordable housing programmes and health benefits.
On Sunday, garbage continued to accumulate on the roads in Mamura, Nithari, Morna, sectors 50, 51 and 52, among others, due to the strike.
“The strike affects 25% of our area in Noida, but we have taken steps so that garbage is collected and transported to landfill sites. We will talk to the sanitation workers on Monday, but it is the UP government that has to decide on the demand for permanent jobs,” said Raghunandan Yadav, senior project engineer, Noida authority.
Residents too demanded a permanent solution to strikes by sanitation employees.
“Sanitation employees keep protesting every month. The Noida authority should resolve this issue once and for all because garbage keeps lying on the roads,” said AN Dhawan, secretary general, Federation of Noida Residents’ Welfare Associations (FONRWA).