Pourakarmikas call off strike

The City streets were littered with mounds of rotting garbage on Thursday, despite the State government conceding to the demands of the pourakarmikas who withdrew their agitation late in the evening.

Nearly 25 per cent of pourakarmikas had struck work on Wednesday demanding the withdrawal of 21 conditions put forth in the new garbage contracts.

At a meeting held on Thursday with the pourakarmikas’ union, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and the Labour department, the State government agreed to provide large-scale concessions to contract pourakarmikas.

The government said pourkarmikas on contract, who have been receiving salaries by cheque, will have job security and would be paid arrears of Rs 48,000. It also assured them a revised wage of Rs 6,200 a month.

Previously denied leaves, contract pourakarmikas will now be entitled to 10 days of leave every year. For every Sunday they work, they will get a compensatory off and double salary for the day. Women workers will be provided two sets of sarees, blouse pieces, blouse stitching charges and washing allowance.

An agreement in this regard will be signed on December 15 by all the parties concerned, with the BBMP acting as a witness.

The government’s decision comes at a time when garbage was piling up across the City. In Jayanagar, HAL, Whitefield, Sahakarnagar and other places, mounds of garbage had been left uncleared since Wednesday. With the pourkarmikas calling off their stir, BBMP officials hope to clear the entire backlog in the next 24 hours.

Earlier, Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy said that from December 1, the new contractors would clear garbage in a phased manner. He appealed to the pourakarmikas to shed the fear of losing their job and return to work.

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