As the talks between minister for municipal administration and urban development M Maheedhar Reddy and municipal worker unions failed on Monday, the unions have decided to continue the strike till their demands are met.
The minister, along with officials of MAUD, CDMA and GHMC, held a meeting with union leaders in the minister’s chamber at the Secretariat here on Monday. He urged the union leaders to call off the strike, assuring them that he would take up with their demand for an increase in wages with the finance minister on Tuesday.
He explained that the issue of wage increase pertained to all municipalities and more than two lakh outsourcing employees within the state. However, he assured to increase the wages by 25 percent after discussing the matter with the finance department on Tuesday as there were financial implications involved in the issue.
The finance department has turned down the proposal to increase the minimum wages from Rs 6,700 to Rs 16,500 a month stating that it is not possible to implement it in the urban local bodies a majority of whom do not have income sources.
Speaking to Express, Bhagyanagar Municipal Employees Union general secretary Vinay Kapoor said that as the talks failed, it was decided to continue the strike till their demands were met and the government gave it in writing that it was increasing the salaries and meeting the other demands.
Meanwhile, foul and unbearable smell emanated from heaps of garbage in the twin cities that got generated in the three days as over 25,000 municipal workers working in GHMC limits have been on strike for the last two days.
If the strike continues, the situation will turn from bad to worse and might lead to serious health hazards with spread of vector-borne diseases. On daily basis, nearly, 4,000 metric tonnes (MTs) of garbage is generated in the Greater Hyderabad limits. Due to the strike for three days, about 12,000 MT of garbage is lying scattered in very nook and corner of the city as road sweeping operations and garbage lifting came to a complete halt on Monday.
Vinay Kapoor said that the strike in GHMC limits was a complete success as no worker attended to work on Monday and no garbage vehicles plied on the roads as the drivers also took part in the strike.
Municipal workers’ unions have been demanding increase in minimum wages from Rs 6,700 to 16,500 per month to outsourcing employees, purchase of new garbage vehicles, regularisation of contract workers’ service, allotment of houses to outsourcing employees and issuance of health cards, etc.
GHMC commissioner Somesh Kumar said the demand for wage hike had been taken up by the GHMC and a revised report was submitted to the government and the file was with the finance department.