By Taru Bhatia
After sanitation workers of the East and North corporations went on strike, the South zone will follow suit if their demands are not met.
In this regard, a meeting comprising a total of 35 unions of sanitation workers will be held at Ambedkar Stadium on April 11 to acknowledge and push forward the demands raised by the workers.
President of Nigam Majdoor Sarv Kalyan Morcha Vikram Singh Digha said they “will demand job regularisation of South Delhi safai karamcharis who have been working for more than 20 years under contract”. Digha said the collaboration of the 35 unions, called ‘Sangharsh Samiti’, will bring together all the three zones to register the grievances of safai karamcharis.
Digha claimed that a circular was released recently by New Delhi Municipal Council additional commissioner Deepak Hastir, which said, “In three months, workers who are employed under contract between the period of 1996 and 2012 will be regularised.”
If this doesn’t happen in three months “then we will definitely go on strike,” Digha said.
Besides, he said demand for medical care is another issue that has been raised.
“The civic body promised that it will give Rs 10 lakh policy cover for medical care as safai karamcharis are exposed to dangerous diseases like tuberculosis. However, the policy has not been finalised,” Digha claimed.
Workers of the East zone were the first to go on strike over the non-payment of their salaries for three months. It was later joined by the North zone’s workers.
National vice-president of Akhil Bharatiya Safai Majdoor, Rajinder Mewati, said, “Safai karamcharis are living like gulams (slaves). We didn’t get our salaries from December because of which several workers took loans at 10 per cent interests to sustain their families. Now how will they pay these back? ”
On Wednesday, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia directed the release of funds for MCD workers’ salaries.
(The reporter is a student of EXIMS)