Representational image. | Image Courtesy: news4nation
Patna: Hundreds of Patna Municipal Corporation's fourth grade employees including safai karamcharis (sanitation workers) started an indefinite strike on Friday, September 27, to protest against non-payment of their salaries for five months. They are also protesting against anti-workers’ policies of the corporation.
With nearly 5,000 fourth grade employees including safai karamchari joining the indefinite strike, it is likely to hit cleaning works of the areas under the Corporation, which have already turned dirty and have been waterlogged due to heavy rains in the last two days.
Patna Nagar Nigam Chaturth Vargiye Karamchari Sangh's leader Nand Kishor Das told NewsClick that they have been forced to go on the indefinite strike and will continue till their demands are fulfilled. "Top officials of PMC and district authorities are anti workers. Fourth grade employees are being treated like animals and neglected. But the fact is that we have been working day and night to keep the city clean and clear the garbage.”
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Das said the Karamchari Sangh has appealed the employees to ensure an effective indefinite strike to put pressure on the government. “Our strike will put a complete stop to the cleaning work and garbage will be visible all around from the next twenty four hours. People will have to close their nose and mouths on roads to narrow lane to get rid of the stink,” he said.
Manohar Prasad, another leader of fourth grade employees of PMC, accused Municipal Commissioner Amit Kumar of high handedness in their dealing with the workers. He said, "He neither listens to our genuine grievances, nor is he ready to give proper time to meet to look into our demands.”
Surendra Kumar, a safai karamchari who was staging dharna along with others near the PMC office, said that fourth grade employees are the real players behind Swatch Bharat Abhiyan but are mostly left in lurch. "We have not received salary for several months. It has become really difficult to manage our families. This cleaning work is our only source of livelihood".
The protesting PMC employees also took out a Mashal Juloos (torchlight procession) in Patna on Thursday night to put forth their demands.