Despite the Prime Minister’s appeal to private and public organisations to not cut salaries of employees, PMPML, the city’s transport undertaking, has given a pay cut ranging from 60 to 80 per cent to 2,200 daily wager earners, who are also unlikely to get May salary
PMPML, the city’s transport undertaking, said the agreement made with the daily wage earners stipulates that they will be paid only for the days they had worked with the transport undertaking. “They get paid as per their daily effort. It is written in their contract. Some worked for 5-6 days, some worked for 12-13 days due to the lockdown, we had to run skeletal service and had asked the daily wage earners to sit at home,” said PMPML spokesperson Subash Gaikwad.
The move comes despite Prime Minister Modi’s appeal to private organisations to not cut salaries of its employees.
Last week, The Indian Express had highlighted that 2,200 daily wagers were asked to sit at home during the lockdown period.
The PMPML decision has come as a blow to daily wage earners who have been running around to borrow money from friends and relatives to take care of their household. “I used to get around Rs 15,000 salary. But for the month of April, I have received only Rs 2000 in hand. This means they have cut 60 per cent of my salary,” said Sangeeta Barne, a widow who works as a Class 4 employee with Nehrunagar depot of PMPML.
Two other widows, Hema Narwade and Chhaya Jadhav, who also work as Class 4 employees have received around Rs 4000. They get around 15,000 salaries per month. All of them argue that it was not their fault. “We put in less number of days as we were asked not to come as there was no work. We were ready to work but they didn’t call us. It cannot be our fault,” said Jadhav and Narwade, urging PMPMP to reconsider their decision.
If April was bad, May is likely to worse for them. “They have not even called us to work for May which means they are not going to pay us salary for the month. I don’t what to do now…We are all hit badly,” said Narwade, a mother two young daughters.
The move also triggered strong political reactions. City Congress spokesperson Ramesh Iyer said the party has already taken up the issue with PMPML CMD and will approach the Chief Minister in this connection. “When the Prime Minister himself had said that workers’ salary should not be cut during the lockdown period, how can PMPML violate directives. PMPML should ask PMC and PCMC to fund it which is their responsibility to do so,” he said. BJP MLA Siddharth Shirole too said he was surprised when PM’s has directed that no salary should be cut during the lockdown, workers are being deprived of their pay.
AAP city chief Mukund Kirdat said, “PMPML cannot argue that it has signed a contract with the workers to pay as per their daily effort. This is an emergency situation and PMPML itself had asked the daily wage earners to sit at home. They did not do so on their own will,” he said.
When contacted, Pune BJP MP Girish Bapat said he wil study the situation and then accordingly discuss it with PMPML. NCP MP Supriya Sule said she will talk to PMPML CMD and find out the exact position of the undertaking. “I will also speak to both the municipal commissioners regarding this,” she said.
Meanwhile, PMPML said the buses service in Pimpri-Chinchwad will be run only within the civic body’s jurisdiction. “We will run 80 buses outside the containment zones. The buses will be run up to half of their strength,” Gaikwad said.
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