Sanitation workers held a demonstration outside the MCD headquarters on Wednesday, calling for the regularisation of their employment and prompt settlement of outstanding arrears. They issued a warning of a hunger strike scheduled for February 27 if their concerns are not addressed.
Expressing their discontent, the workers declared a “chakka jam” (strike) throughout Delhi on February 27, emphasising that the corporation has ignored their repeated appeals for the regularisation of sanitation workers. Mahinder Singh, the vice-president of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) accused the AAP-led corporation of failing to fulfill its commitment to permanently employ contractual ‘sanitation operatives’.
“Despite our repeated requests to Mayor Shelly Oberoi to take action, our pleas go unheard. If the municipality does not meet our demands, we will resort to a hunger strike and organise a ‘chakka jam’ across Delhi,” Singh said.
Approximately 500 sanitation workers, under the banner of the MCD gathered at the civic center gate to voice their protest. In a dramatic gesture, some workers removed their shirts despite the harsh weather conditions to symbolise their discontent with the administration.
Facing police barricades, the protestors attempted to disrupt traffic on the road. The demonstration, which included individuals with disabilities and elderly participants, caused a traffic jam near the MCD headquarters on Minto Road.
Arvinder Singh Lovely, the president of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), expressed solidarity with the MCD sanitation workers and offered legal assistance to the Core Committee if required.
Leader of Opposition Raja Iqbal Singh criticised the govt for delaying the regularisation of temporary workers. In addition to their primary demands for regularisation and pending arrears, the workers also called for permanent jobs for dependents of employees who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The union warned of a larger demonstration across the city if their demands remained unmet. (With inputs from PTI)