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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Conservancy workers strike against job losses as Chennai Corporation privatises solid-waste management

More than 12,000 conservancy workers had been employed in 200 wards on a contract basis, said sources. In January, 7,000 workers alleged that they were removed as their contact period ended and the corporation handed over waste management to private players.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: July 9, 2021 3:11:05 pm
Greater Chennai Corporation. (File)

A group of conservancy workers staged a protest on Thursday against Greater Chennai Corporation’s decision to privatise solid-waste management in 11 of the 15 zones which has rendered them jobless for nearly six months now.

Earlier employed under National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) scheme, the protesters at EVR Periyar Salai claimed that they had been working with the civic body for more than 10 years and even risked their lives during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic but still they were removed without any notification. They wanted to meet a government representative to explain their problems. As the protests created a traffic snarl, the police stepped in and dispersed the workers. As per reports, the police took away four protesting women in a van.

More than 12,000 conservancy workers had been employed in 200 wards on a contract basis, said sources. In January, 7,000 workers alleged that they were removed as their contact period ended and the corporation handed over waste management to private players to cover zones like Adyar, Perungudi, Sholinganallur, Teynampet, Alandur, Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam and Kodambakkam.

Though the authorities promised that the issue will be resolved in 15 days, the workers demanded an immediate solution given they had already waited for many months.

In their election manifesto, the ruling DMK had promised that all ad-hoc and contract workers working in public sector entities and government agencies for more than 10 years would be considered permanent employees. For the welfare of sanitisation workers, DMK said steps would be taken to fulfil the promises regarding employment, salary and pension and other benefits.

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