The announcement came after their meeting with Municipal Administration and Water Supply department secretary Harmander Singh, and the Deputy Commissioners of the city Corporation, ended without reaching any amicable decision.
“During the meeting, the secretary asked us to call off the protest and assured us of deferring the tender process. The officials also sought three days’ time to give a written assurance. They also assured us of cancelling the bids after discussion w
ith the minister,” said P Srinivasalu, general secretary of Chennai Corporation Red Flag Union.
Earlier, police stopped over 5,000 rallying conservancy workers near government guest house in Chepauk and held talks with them.
“Police assured us of a meeting with secretary and corporation higher officials. Based on the promise, office bearers of Federation of Unions Against Privatisation in Greater Chennai Corporation went to the secretariat,” Srinivasalu added. Remaining firm on the union’s resolution, Srinivasalu said workers have decided to go on an indefinite strike from October 16 if the Corporation refuses to cancel the bids as promised.
The conservancy workers in the civic body started their continuous protest after the Chennai Corporation floated tenders inviting private firms to carry out conservancy works at Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Ambattur zones, Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi and Sholinganallur zones for 8 years at a cost of more than Rs 1,545 crore. The bids are set to be opened on October 23.
The conservancy workers are opposing private conservancy in Kodambakkam, Adyar and Teynampet, where Ramky Enviro Engineers were carrying out the works. There are 9,800 permanent conservancy workers and over 16,000 contract workers in the city. The strike would affect the removal of garbage from the city, which generate 5,500 tonnes of waste every day.