CHENNAI: More than 50 sanitation workers along with members of the Chennai Corporation Red Flag Union protested on Friday at Otteri in Thiru Vi Ka Nagar zone (zone 6) against the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) as they don't provide basic equipment for the workers while cleaning the road and segregating garbage. The sanitary workers also protested against the privatisation of solid waste management.
"The civic body authorities failed to provide basic equipment such as hand gloves, masks, and coats when we clean the road. Expect when there is the Chief Minister or any higher officials visit they distribute these things while on duty. We have worked during the Covid pandemic-induced lockdown to ensure the city is clean, but we are not benefitted from it. The government has not made our job permanent," said P Malarkodi, a sanitary worker from Kolathur.
The conservancy workers claimed that they are paid very less, and the hike would be only Rs 14 or Rs 16 every year. Also, there is no leave provided for the sanitary workers. "If we take sick leave they will deduct money from the salary and we are forced to come to work daily even if we are not feeling well. No one highlights the problems faced by the sanitary workers," added Malarkodi.
It is noted that there is no health checkup done for the sanitation workers by the GCC. And only during the Covid pandemic, they were given vaccinations. They also urged the city Corporation not to give contracts to private companies.
T Srinivasan, general secretary of Chennai Corporation Red Flag Union, stated that the local administration has requested the residents to dispose of sanitary napkins and diapers separately. But they don't provide gloves for the sanitary workers while cleaning the road or segregating garbage.
"The sanitation workers purchase brooms and other things required to clean the road from their pocket. Also, due to shortage in manpower, the workers are forced to work in two shifts, and not paid for overtime duty," added Srinivasan. They have been working for over a decade for the Chennai Corporation, yet their job has not been made permanent.
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