Sweepers continue strike, ask for regular posts now

In a bid to cash in on the standoff between the civic agency and city government over funds, sanitation workers with East Corporation have refused to call off the ongoing strike on Tuesday.

They have shifted their focus from salaries to regular posts and better working conditions.
Officials of the East Corporations held many rounds of talks with sanitation workers’ unions till late Tuesday evening in view of the Chief Minister's announcement of financial aid to civic agencies.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Rs 500 crore to North and East Corporations to pay salaries to their employees for April and May.

Workers unions with the East MCD said that the agency cannot wash its hands of the responsibility by just giving salaries to safai karamcharis. “The corporation will not be able to pay salaries next month. Then should we again sit on dharna? So the issue is not only about salaries but it is also about regularisation of contractual workers,” said Rajendra Mewati, president of Safai Karamchari Mazdoor Union.

“Employees who have been hired till 2003 in all the departments have been regularised. But the sanitation workers are awaiting regularisation since long,” he added.

A contractual safai karamchari makes just over Rs 8,000 a month. But if he is regularised he will get a salary of nearly Rs 15,000 per month. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation requires Rs 100 crore a month to pay salaries to its over 45,000 employees a month.
The sanitation workers have been on strike since June 2. Garbage can be seen piled up in areas under the East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

“The stench that is emanating from the dhalao which is brimming with garbage is unbearable. Even the road has been littered with waste. Why isn’t the corporation doing something about it?” said Lalita Kumari, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase 1.

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