The safaikaramcharis of the three civic bodies in Delhi announced on Friday that they are going on an indefinite strike — their third strike this year. The civic employees had gone on strikes in March and again in June over the delay in the payment of their salaries. This time, the sanitation workers are demanding their arrears, pending since 2003, and the regularisation of contractual employees.
Union representatives estimate that as many 60,000 employees are likely to go on strike.
“Along with regularisation, we want cashless medical facilities in all corporation hospitals and arrears for regularised employees, starting 2003,” said Rajendra Mewati, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Safai Mazdoor Congress.
Corporation leaders pointed out that with all the civic bodies under acute financial strain, it would be difficult to pay such a hefty amount. “In such a time, making demands for arrears is a little unreasonable from the employees. They should cooperate with us,” said Standing Committee Chairman, North MCD, Mohan Bhardwaj.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed that the Delhi government had released adequate funds to the three MCDs.
“The coming days are very important for Delhi as delegates from African countries will be visiting and Diwali will be celebrated. An impression has been deliberately created that the government is not cooperating with the MCDs and not releasing funds. The Delhi government has released more funds to the MCDs than what they received in October 2014, while the Centre controlled Delhi through the Lt Governor,” said Sisodia.