As many as 30,000 North Delhi Municipal Corporation workers began an indefinite strike on Tuesday to protest against unpaid salaries. Apart from sanitation workers, engineers and administrative employees will also join the protest. The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday issued notices to the central and Delhi governments as well as the Sanitation Workers’ Union and summoned them on Wednesday.
Most employees of the north corporation have not received their salaries for the past two months. “The situation [disruption in pay] has been the same for the past two years. Unless the corporation clears our pay, we will not resume work,” Rajendra Mewati, general secretary of the United Front of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi Employees, told The Times of India.
The finance department of the north corporation said they were supposed to receive Rs 230 crore from the Delhi government by Tuesday. With this corpus, they will clear the due for the month of November and pay the salaries for December to only those employees who fall under Group C and D. “But to clear salaries for January and February, we will have to bank on the Delhi government,” an official told the newspaper.
A section of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, however, called off their five-day strike on Monday after receiving their salaries for two months. Tariq Khan, a member of the MCD Teachers’ Association, told The Times of India, that if the situation did not improve by January 15, teachers working under the north and east corporations would join the strike.
Even as mounds of garbage pile up, political parties and sanitation workers’ unions continue to play a blame game. While Delhi’s Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to announce a special package for civic workers, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the only solution to this long-standing problem was change of power. “Remove BJP [from MCD]”, he said, according to Hindustan Times.
The BJP has been in power in the MCDs for more than a decade now. The strike comes ahead of the civic polls in April-May.