Sanitation workers from East Delhi have agreed to end their strike following the acceptance of a long-pending demand of regularisation of jobs by East Delhi Municipal Corporation. The 28-day strike, which was one of the longest, was called-off on October 9.
"We have been promised that the jobs of sanitation workers employed between April 1998 and March 2017 will be regularised. The civic body has also promised a Diwali bonus to us; they will be giving two dearness allowances (DAs) to us," said president of MCD Swachhta Karamchari Union, Sanjay Gehlot.
He added, "They have started the work. Within two-three days, Delhi will be clean," said Gehlot.
However, the workers have raised another demand. "A few days ago, when the workers were heading to Sansad Marg to raise their demands, they were met with lathi charge. Many men and women have been brutally injured. We request Delhi government to compensate their medical expenses. The workers didn't do anything. They wanted to put forth their demands, and were met with this brutality," Gehlot told Newsclick. The incident reportedly happened on October 8, when the the workers were on their way to the Sansad Marg for a sit-in protest.
Earlier, the protesting workers had expressed their dissatisfaction over the broken promises of the government. This was not the first time that the sanitation workers had declared a strike. Gehlot said, "As per last year’s budget, the civic body has an outstanding amount of Rs 65 crore in medical bills. This, along with salaries it owes to its employees, amounts to a total of Rs 1,525 crore in dues. The civic body also generates Rs 70 crore as revenue per month, or Rs 840 crore a year," as reported by The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the workers are busy cleaning the heaps of garbage accumulated on the roads. "We are happy that our major demand of regularisation has been fulfilled. Workers have started working, even they feel happy now," said Gehlot.