No salary for 9 months, 1,600 Delhi Metro workers go on strike

"DMRC would like to clarify that these workers have not been directly recruited or hired by Delhi Metro," Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, Corporate Communications said

Written by Somya Lakhani | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2017 5:24 am
Delhi Metro Workers Strike, DMRC Workers Strike, Delhi Metro, India News, Indian Express, Indian Express News Metro contractors and labourers, at Jantar Mantar. Abhinav Saha

Apart from sending half of his monthly income home to his mother and three siblings in Katihar, Bihar, 19-year-old Anzar Alam saves a tiny sum every month for emergencies. But now that his village has been hit by a flood, he feels helpless. “I haven’t been paid in the last two months, so I have spent my savings on rent and food…I need money urgently so my family in Katihar can survive,” said Alam, one of the 1,600 labourers with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) protesting at Jantar Mantar since August 17.

Along with the labourers, contractors too have taken to the streets demanding “pending payments of nine months from DMRC and FEMC Pratibha,” which, according to labour contractor Ashish Dwivedi, amounts to “Rs 25 crore”. “We are paid by FEMC Pratibha but nine months ago when we stopped work, DMRC intervened and assured us that they will pay us… since then, partial payments have been made over a month or two,” said Dwivedi, who has 300 labourers under him.

When The Indian Express approached the DMRC, Anuj Dayal, Executive Director, Corporate Communications, said, “A section of workers hired by one of DMRC’s contractors, M/s FEMC Pratibha have been agitating over alleged non-payment of dues for the last few days. DMRC would like to clarify that these workers have not been directly recruited or hired by Delhi Metro.”

DMRC also does not pay the salaries directly to these workers. The contractor has been directed to clear all dues and DMRC is also closely monitoring the situation.A Metro spokesperson added, “If labourer makes any complaint to DMRC regarding non-payment of wages, DMRC takes appropriate steps. In this case, no individual labourer has made complaints. This is the matter of dues between sub-contractor and the main contractor.”

Even as the rain brought the city to a standstill on Saturday, hundreds continued to sit on a dharna at Jantar Mantar, along with 25 labour contractors. “I have paid salaries of the 250 labourers under me for seven months by taking loans…I am in debt now, no longer capable of paying them, which is why we are protesting,” said contractor Babloo Tripathi.

The labourers and contractors also revealed that work on Delhi Metro phase III is on hold due to the protest. “At the moment, no work is happening at the nine Metro stations of phase III, which is already delayed by many months…if they don’t meet our demand, we will also put functioning metro service on hold, and lie down on the tracks in protest,” said Tripathi.

DMRC, on the other hand, maintained that “there is no delay. We are doing our structural and finishing work. These supply contractors were only doing house keeping work, helping the mechanical and electrical department in their work, the job of office attendants and other miscellaneous work. This is not affecting our schedule as these are ancillary activities”.Meanwhile, labourers such as Rajesh Yadav who hails from Bhadohi near Allahabad, continue to “ignore desperate phone calls from home as there is no money to send.”

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. I
    Aug 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm
    While making ry payments to the outsourced agencies. Delhi metro should insist on the following 1. PF deposit slip 2. ry paid proof. In this way the employees wont be cheated and be safe guarded against the malpractice of such agencies. Delhi metro should issue a warning letter if ries not paid within 10 days They would blacklist the agency
    1. S
      Aug 20, 2017 at 1:48 pm
      I need to ask to Delhi Metro department that why Delhi Metro department not appoint the workers direct from him, why given order to another company to recruit. If the payment is not paid to workers, than how they will work without ry
      1. H
        Aug 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm
        How long can you expect nationalism and patriotism from those who are left high and dry by govt and private employers. BJP beware If u do not put the work culture and ethics in the govt. and the general society which supports you in order you will again have hungry jaichands and breaking of this country in your hands
        1. K
          Aug 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm
          Why the labour law not been used. The protesters should have approached delhi high Court for there due. Why the central ministry not looking into the matter? Denial of wages is straight violation of right to livelihood (article 21). High court will immediately pass a order for wages to be paid to labour's. It better to go to court and not expect much from current central government. There is hugh law implementation failure from centre and they are busy only in elections.
          1. C
            Aug 20, 2017 at 11:06 am
            Poor governance
            1. Load More Comments