A fortnight after going on strike from work, sanitary workers did so again in Mangaluru on Saturday, hitting the collection and transport of solid waste from doorsteps.
Like last time, they withdrew the strike in the afternoon and returned to work after the Commissioner of Mangaluru City Corporation, Akshy Sridhar, met them at Baikampady and promised to fulfil their two main demands through Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt. Ltd., which handles the solid waste of the city for the corporation.
Narayana Shetty, president of the Association of Safai Karmacharis of Mangaluru, said the workers had protested mainly seeking the release of salary on the 10th of every month and the release of the bonus due to them from the company. He said the Commissioner assured them that he would ask the company to release the bonus on January 4 and that he would also ensure that the company credited salary on the 10th.
“Of about 600 sanitary workers, including drivers, 400 participated in the strike. About 110 vehicles did not collect waste in the afternoon. The striking workers returned to the work after having their lunch,” Mr. Shetty said.
However, wet waste remained uncollected in many houses and apartments till late in the evening as the schedule of collection was affected in the forenoon.
Mr. Shetty said that there were issues related to the maintenance of vehicles transporting solid waste posing a threat to the safety of drivers and workers. The repair of vehicles should be completed at the earliest, and women workers do not have proper toilet facilities yet, he said. He added that the other demands included the fixing of duty hours at eight and the payment of overtime allowance for working more than eight hours, providing earned leave to workers, providing payslips to all workers, and covering all workers under PF and ESI facility.