Haryana: Municipal Employees Protest to 'Wake up Government'
Assembly elections will be held in Haryana next year in 2024, given that the state's employee organisations have already opened a front against the Manohar Lal Khattar government.
After the Anganwadi and ASHA workers, the municipal workers have also accused the government of reneging on its promises.
To 'wake up the sleeping government', these employees are registering their protest by clapping and protesting at the residences of MLAs, MPs and Ministers in different districts of Haryana between May 17 and 18.
Apart from this, they have also warned the government that if their demands are not heard soon, they will organise a big rally in Jind on May 28, in which the employees of the entire state will unite and take a big step.
The demonstration is being held in all 22 districts of the state and is aimed at reminding the government of the promises made to its employees ahead of the upcoming elections.
Municipal employees have been struggling with their demands for a long time, and many times, they have also taken to the streets for strikes and demonstrations under the banner of the Haryana Municipal Employees Union.
The main issues in their demands are to ensure contract employees, equal pay for equal work and restoration of the old pension system.
Allegations of Reneging From Promises
In a conversation with NewsClick, the general secretary of the organisation, Mangeram Tigra, said that last year during Diwali, they had organised a big movement, after which several agreements were reached with the government on October 29. The government accepted almost all the demands of the employees.
But till now, the government has yet to take any step in this direction. On the contrary, the government removed new recruitments of fire staff, whereas, in the agreement, there was talk of providing service security to the fire staff deployed on contract.
According to Tigra, several meetings of his organisation and employees have been held with Chief Minister Khattar and the civic body minister.
Agreements have been reached twice with mutual consent, but the government is not in the mood to implement anything.
Due to this neglect of the government, About 40,000 employees of Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, and Municipal Committees of the state are angry because the Chief Minister is holding public dialogues by spending lakhs of rupees but did not even listen to the problems of these employees.
On May 17, municipal employees reached the residence of local MLA Aseem Goyal in Ambala and shouted slogans against the government by clapping plates.
The employees involved in the demonstration also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the MLA. They also warned that if their demands are not implemented soon, then BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) should give up the dream of coming to power again.
During the demonstration, Seva Ram, State Deputy Head of the Municipal Employees Union, said the government had ignored the employees.
"Marginalised sanitation workers in the state are continuously being exploited, while the fire personnel are not getting their entitlement and risk allowance because the government does not want to guarantee job security by regularising anyone, which was its promise."
New Challenges for CM Khattar
The demands of the employees include safety equipment for sanitation workers, guaranteed job security to contracted firepersons and drivers, reinstatement of retrenched employees, uniform allowance to class III and IV employees, and compensation to employees who lost their lives on the job.
At present, the employees insist that regularisation is their first and most important demand, regarding which they say that despite the promise, the government is yet to do anything.
It is worth noting that there is a coalition government of BJP and Jannayak Janata Party in Haryana, and it has been facing opposition from farmers and employee organisations in the state for a long time.
In such a situation, next year's elections will be difficult for the current CM. Haryana Minister Sandeep Singh was also in a lot of trouble due to a sexual exploitation case; apart from this, the demonstrations in the state, the wrestlers' sit-in at Jantar Mantar, the anger of the farmers and the khaps are presenting more challenges.
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