With the sanitation workers remaining firm on their demands and resolve to continue the strike, municipal administration and urban development minister M Maheedhar Reddy and officials met chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy at the latter’s camp office here on Tuesday night and apprised him about the latest situation.
On the issue of salary hike, the chief minister told them that he would discuss it with finance department officials on Wednesday and take a decision on the percentage of salary hike.
Meanwhile, city mayor Majid Hussain warned the agitating workers that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation would invoke Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the striking workers if they failed to resume their duties by Wednesday.
But GHMC municipal workers’ unions, peeved by the government’s failure to hold talks with them on Tuesday, decided to continue the strike till their demands are addressed by the government. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Employees Union (GHMEU) president U Gopal and Bhagyanagar Municipal Employees Union general secretary Vinay Kapoor told Express that they would continue the strike on Wednesday.
Unions a demanding an increase in the minimum wages from Rs 6,700 to 16,500 per month to outsourcing workers, purchase of new garbage vehicles, regularisation of contract workers and issuance of health cards.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Tuesday, the mayor, who was upset with GHMC workers taking part in the strike, warned that the corporation would no tolerate their indiscipline and decided to take stringent action against them by invoking the ESMA. The GHMC workers were holding the city to ransom and it would not be tolerated any more, he warned.
‘’We waited for three days hoping that they would call off the strike but it is not happening. The outsourcing workers, who are demanding a hike in salaries, have no right to participate in the strike,’’ Hussain said and claimed that a majority of the demands had been addressed to a large extent.
“The corporation has done its best for the welfare of the contract and regular workers like release of various entitlements that include soaps and oils, issue of identity cards, EPF slips, uniforms, etc. It provided additional group personal accidental policy to drivers and labourers (cleaners) working on outsourcing basis under various agencies, additional insurance coverage.”
The mayor said wage increase concerned all municipalities and more than two lakh outsourcing employees in the state and any decision had to be taken by the state government and the GHMC had no role in it.
The GHMC is implementing a contingency plan and has been able to clear 30 pc garbage. Still, mounds of garbage dot the city roads and are giving foul smell and breeding bacteria.