Conservancy workers demand Diwali bonus

Workers employed with Ramky Enviro Engineers Pvt. Ltd, in-charge of solid waste collection in three zones of Chennai, went on a one-day strike demanding Diwali bonus on October 23.

Workers comprising drivers, loaders and sweepers, in the three zones namely Nungambakkam, Kodambakkam, Thiruvanmiyur-Adyar, were demanding one month’s salary as  bonus. Depending on the pay scale of the workers, which ranges from Rs 5000-10,000. Their previous employer, Neel Metal Fanalca, had given the workers a Diwali bonus of Rs.5000.

M.Sampath, Zonal Officer of Zone IX, assured the workers that their demands would be considered. However, the quantum of bonus would be decided after a final discussion on November 3, as the head of Ramky is abroad.

Initially the corporation officials refused to yield to the workers’ demand, as Ramky had declared that they would not give any bonus for a period of five years when they signed the contract.

In the event of a deadlock on November 3, the workers plan to strike work again en masse.

Krishna Murthy, Vice President of Red Flag Union, said that there were about 6500 workers employed in these three zones and some of them were apprehensive to go on strike, as they feared for their jobs.  The Red Flag Union is affiliated to Centre of Indian Trade Unions.

Reported by Abhishek Shaw and Vijayakumar Pitchiah, Students of Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.

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