December 5, 2017
Conservancy workers at the Coimbatore City Corporation staged a protest on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the Tamil Nadu Labour Office here, following the corporation officials failure to discuss making contract workers permanent.
As many as 2,035 conservancy workers and 300 drivers in the corporation are working on contract basis and a majority of them have been working for more than 10 years as daily wage labourers for a meagre amount.
Arukkani , a the conservancy worker said, “We have been working for the last 10 years on the contract basis and forced to clean toilets, sewage channels and many other activities without even proper safety equipment.”
She added that they were forced to work seven days a week for Rs 250 as daily wages and were denied payment if they took a day’s leave despite the fact that they are eligible to a weekly off. The wages are so meagre that it is difficult to run the family and take care of the education expenses of their children.
Lack of safety equipment has even led to death of several conservancy workers, she points out.
Janshakthi Mazdoor Sangh district president C Palaniswami said protests were staged inside the corporation office on November 19 and 20 seeking permanent job status and safety measure equipment. “The corporation officials had assured them that the matter would be addressed in three weeks in the presence of corporation and labour welfare officers,” he said.
When the association planed to stage a protest from December 1, labour welfare officers requested them to put it off since there was the MGR Centenary celebration in the city.
“But when the officials from corporation and labour welfare board called us for talks on Tuesday, none of the officials was present,” he said, adding that as an eyewash, an official told them that the meeting had been postponed to Friday. It was on this assurance that the workers ended their protest.