TN: ‘Stop Privatising Work’ Say Sanitation and Other Local Body Workers
Sanitation workers at the protest in Chennai. Image courtesy: CITU
Chennai Sanitation, drinking water, vehicle drivers and mosquito exterminator workers held protests across the state on January 10 demanding the government of Tamil Nadu stop privatising work at the local bodies.
The protesters, under the leadership of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), demanded the repeal of Government Orders numbered 152 115, and 139 which take away government jobs in the Corporations, Municipalities and panchayats.
CITU reiterated that it is the government's duty to ensure sanitation, it cannot be a means for private profit-making.
It demanded the regularisation of employees who have worked with the government under contract for longer than ten years; it was promised by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in its election manifesto.
The protesting sanitation workers also demanded the government provide Rs 26,000 as monthly wages.
The workers demanded the necessary weekly, festival and medical holidays.
The District Rural Development and Local Administration Employees’ Associations held protests in various districts. Protests were held in Chennai, Dindigul, Theni, Tirunelveli, Tiruppur and other cities.
The protesters demanded raincoats and safety equipment for the permanent cleaners.
The contract cleaners and mosquito control workers should be given a salary hike as per the order of the Theni District Collector, said the protesters in front of Chinnamanur Municipality, Theni district.
In Tirupur, the employees held a demonstration wearing black opposite the Corporation office. They raised slogans urging the government to pay workers according to Ordinance 62 (2D) and make their employment permanent.
CHENNAI SANITATION WORKERS
Sanitation workers held a one-day hunger strike in front of Rajarathinam Stadium, Chennai.
Speaking at the protest K Balakrishnan, Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M), Secretary, Tamil Nadu said, “Chennai cannot become ‘Singara Chennai’ (beautiful Chennai) just by IAS officers or other higher officers wanting to make it beautiful. It is the sanitation workers who can make the city clean. What will happen if sanitation workers decide to not work for one day?”
Singara Chennai is the ruling DMK government’s plan for cleaning and beautifying the capital city of Tamil Nadu
Balakrishnan mentioned that “contractualisation is not only the situation in the Corporations but also in schools, hospitals and other government buildings”.
“The private companies take a part of the funds provided for workers and pay only a portion of it. Why cannot the government directly pay the workers?” he asked.
Out of the 15 mandals in the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), sanitation work has been handed over to the private sector in 11 mandals. More than 22,000 workers are employed in the remaining four zones.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.