Protesting as One, Law Students Demand Reinstatement of Housekeeping Staff
Late till February 10 night, New Delhi’s National Law University reverberated with slogans in protest against the administration. Law students came in hundreds to demand reinstatement of the 55 safai karamcharis (housekeeping staff), who were “illegally” terminated last month.
It was the 38th day of the protest by the terminated staff and the university students against the administration. NLU Delhi Workers Students Solidarity, a body leading the protest, had called for an all-night protest on Monday.
Gates of the university closed on December 31 for the safai workers, many of whom have served for 12 years, NewsClick was informed. To replace them, the university awarded the contract to a third party private firm, namely, M/s Rajendra Management Group (RMG), which allegedly brought workers who are on contractual terms—which can be read as workers with less pay and no job security.
The protesting students alleged that the administration has been firm on its stance that it “owes no responsibility” to the struggling terminated workers. “Despite protests lasting for over a month now, the administration has turned its back on the safai workers,” said one of the student protesters.
According to the students, the contract to the private firm stands “illegal” as a Delhi Cabinet Resolution numbered F-4/20/08/AR/921-1080/C, issued on October 9 2018, requires the new contractor to keep a “minimum” of 80% of earlier manpower.
Further, to press for their demands, the budding lawyers have sent their representations to AAP’s Gopal Rai, former minister of labour of national capital—only to return empty-handed. They are mulling seeking a response from the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court as well, who is also the chancellor of the Law University.
“We are receiving support from the alumni,” a protesting student told NewsClick, “also, we are now approaching other university staff to sensitise them and seek their solidarity.” “We are determined to make the university bow to our demands.”
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