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Agitation to demand jobs

June 22: The workers of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) will launch an agitation to demand employment for the families of the staff who had died in service.

Hundreds of workers of the corporation will stage a demonstration at the office of GMC commissioner Rajesh Prasad on Monday, under the banner of the GMC Harijan Mazdoor Union, demanding that these family members be employed on compassionate grounds.

The general secretary of the union, T.B. Demudu Rao, said the workers are miffed with Dispur for not giving preference to the family members of the workers who died in service, during the recent appointment of 300 workers.

He said the GMC appointed 300 workers on a daily wage of Rs 100 on June 12.

“We will launch our agitation on Monday and if the government fails to heed our demand, we will intensify it,” Rao said. “We were demanding compassionate employment for the family members of our colleagues who died in service for a long time now,” he said.

Rao said there were 250 candidates, who were seeking employment on compassionate grounds. “The government had told us earlier that it would appoint the family members when the posts are vacant. It had even given us written assurance,” he said. “We are demanding employment because the families of those employees are living in penury. They are yet to get gratuity or contributory provident fund.”

Rao said the GMC had last given employment on compassionate grounds in 2003.

“In April 2003, when Sanjay Lohia was the commissioner, 77 candidates were appointed on compassionate grounds. Since then more than 250 employees have passed away but not a single appointment was made on similar grounds,” Rao said.

He added that there were other problems plaguing the GMC employees.

“One will be surprised to know that despite deducting around Rs 22 lakh every month from the salaries of the employees, the government is yet to pay an amount of Rs 30 crore in the CPF account. The state government had used the money for some other work without caring for the future of the workers and their families,” he said. “Because of this, the GMC workers and their family members are facing a tough time. There are instances of workers suffering from serious ailments being refused loans against their CPF. Many of them even died and their families are running from pillar to post to get their dues,” Rao added.

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