Workers take out CM's 'funeral march', docs mull joining strike

Municipal employees started the second day of their strike by taking out Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘funeral march’ in east Delhi’s Shahdara area on Thursday.

They also demonstrated outside the house of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia demanding funds for the payment of salaries by the corporations.

The day saw multiple protests by several groups of the Municipal Corpoeration of Delhi employees across the city with garbage getting piled up in streetside side-dumps and shutting of almost every school under the North and East Corporations.

The situation is going to get worse as doctors are mulling to join the strike starting Saturday. The MCD employees unions’ said on Wednesday that they would strike work till Friday, giving three days to the corporations and the city government to bridge the gap and distribute salaries to the staff.

Thousands of the employees including sanitation workers, engineers, teachers and hospital staff went on an indefinite strike demanding timely payment of salaries, clearance of arrears and regularisation of contractual workers.

On Thursday, scores of workers carried out Kejriwal’s ‘funeral’ march at around 10.30 am. They also littered garbage outside the East Corporation’s Shahdara (South) Zone’s office apart from burning the effigy of Kejriwal.

“The employees have not been given salaries for the past four months. We will continue our strike till our demands are met,” said Rajender Mewati, general secretary, United Front of MCD Employees. “We are going to have a meeting with the doctors’ associations tomorrow [Friday] and we have been told that they are also thinking to join the ongoing strike,” added Mewati.

Though the East Delhi Municipal Corporation claims that the sanitation employees have been given salaries for December. When asked why the civic agency has only released the salaries of safai karamcharis, a senior official said, “The sanitation unions comprise the biggest chunk of the total employees’ unions.”

Safai karamcharis, however, said they are yet to receive their salaries. “It’s all on papers. Salaries have not yet been credited to any (sanitation) worker’s account. We feel trifurcation of the MCD in 2012 is the cause of North and East Corporations being insolvent today as all the sources of income has gone to South Corporation. So we demand reunification of the three civic agencies,” said Mewati.

Both the East and North Corporations are in the red. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation requires over Rs 100 crore per month to pay salaries and other benefits to its over 32,000 employees. The North Corporation too isn’t far behind and requires Rs 171 crore per month to pay salaries and other benefits to its over 70,000 employees.

In October, the city saw a similar protest by sanitation workers of the East Corporation alone.

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