Cracks emerge among striking MCD workers after HC order

Some agree to call off their protest, many refuse to resume work

 There is hope of faster lifting of mounds of garbage from Tuesday as a section of agitating civic workers suspended their agitation over unpaid wages till Wednesday.

In clear signs of cracks emerging among the protesting municipal employees, some sanitation workers refused to resume and continued their indefinite strike for the13th day  on Monday despite the Delhi High Court frowning over their intention.

Minutes after some employees’ unions agreed before the court to call off their protest on the condition that salaries would be credited to their accounts within next two days, municipal mini-vans could be seen lifting garbage that had spilled on to roads from community bins in north and east Delhi.

People heaved a sigh of relief seeing sanitation employees. “At last, the stalemate is over. A few more days of garbage piling up would have created an epidemic-like situation,” said Mallika Jacob, who lives in east Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Phase 1.

While sanitation workers and engineers associations have been continuing protests, a majority of doctors resumed their duties on Friday.

Municipal teachers and other employees too ended their protests on Saturday.
The United Front of MCD Employees, an umbrella organisation for sanitation workers which had called the strike, said that safai karamcharis will resume work on Tuesday.

“We have suspended the strike for two days as the commissioners gave us the assurance that the money will be transferred to our accounts by then,” said Rajender Mewati, general secretary of United Front of MCD Employees.

“If the civic agencies fail to deliver on their promise then we should not be blamed for taking to streets again. For how long can one work empty stomach?” added Mewati.
While some employees unions said that would end their agitation only after the High Court’s hearing on February 10.

“We will only call off our strike after the High Court hears the case about the clearance of our arrears,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of Swatantra Majdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.
Also, sanitation workers staged a demonstration outside Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s Khichdipur Camp office.

“We will continue our agitation as it’s not about the salaries any more. We want a permanent solution so that we don’t have to resort to striking work again to get our salaries,” added Gehlot.
“We will protest outside Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra’s house in Yamuna Vihar tomorrow,” he said.

While municipal teachers resumed work on Monday. “All the teachers have joined office today. We have been given assurance by the commissioners that salaries will be credited to our accounts soon. We all have got the salaries till November,” said Ram Niwas Solanki, general secretary, Nagar Nigam Shikshak Sangh.

Fund-starved North and East Corporations’ employees including sanitation workers, teachers and engineers went on strike on January 27 demanding timely payment of salaries and clearance of arrears.

On January 30, doctors, nurses and para-medical staff joined the agitation.
Even sanitation workers of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation struck work showing solidarity with their co-workers.

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