8,000 sweepers threaten to go on an indefinite strike from Diwali

8,000 sweepers threaten to go on an indefinite strike from Friday
Representational Image (File Photo)

Ahead of Diwali, over 8,000 contract labourers employed by civic bodies in Mumbai to sweep the streets of Mumbai, Thane and Nashik have threatened to go on an indefinite strike from Friday to press for their demands of payment of minimum wages and pending arrears.

The New Trade Union Initiative, a coordinating committee comprising representatives of three trade unions – Kachara Vahatuk Shramik Sangh, Maharashtra Municipal Kamgar Union and Nashik Manapa Shramik Sangh, had issued a notice to the respective municipal bodies, stating that they would go on an indefinite strike from October 28 to seek minimum wages for contract labourers and payment of arrears.

Milind Ranade, General Secretary of the Committee, said the unions, representing over 8,000 contract workers, had a meeting with Maharashtra Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar two months ago.

In the meeting, he assured them that these labourers will get minimum wages and also arrears of the last 20 months before Diwali.

“The Minister had instructed all the three municipal corporations to pay minimum wages and arrears to labourers. However, this has not been done yet,” Ranade said on Sunday.

“We have called the strike to seek justice for contract labourers,” he added.

Patil-Nilangekar, however, maintained that the demands of contract labourers will be met as promised. “I have instructed the corporations and before the end of the coming week, contract labourers will get their minimum wages.”

He further stated that action will be taken against officials who fail to implement his orders.

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