Pourakarmikas across the state have decided to go on an indefinite strike from July 1, sparking fears that garbage collection and management in Bengaluru and other districts may be disrupted as a result.
The Karnataka State Corporation, Municipality, Town Municipality Pourakarmika Maha Union has called for the indefinite strike if the government fails to pay heed to their demands.
As a warning, the association will hold a one-day strike on June 17, where pourakarmikas in Bengaluru will submit proposals to the authorities.
“Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had promised to make our jobs permanent if voted to power. Even after a year, the promise remains unfulfilled. This is our main demand. Besides, we demand compassionate appointments to benefit deceased Pourakarmikas’ families. We will give 15 days for the government after the one-day protest on Monday. If there is no proper response thereafter, we will go for the indefinite strike,” Pourakarmika Union president Mysuru Narayan told DH.
The union fears reintroduction of the contract system. “If our job is made permanent as promised, all problems will be solved. Some influential contractors are lobbying for reintroducing the contract system. A few contractors have stopped providing equipment such as brooms, pollution masks, uniforms and push carts. They want to prove to the civic body the contract system was better,” union secretary Nagabhushan said.
The strike will throw out of gear door-to-door garbage collection, road cleaning and other works in the city. Nearly 17,000 pourakarmikas are awaiting regularisation of jobs. This excludes auto and tipper drivers. The union has demanded inclusion of the drivers under their category.