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Frontline workers cry to clear dues

Around 800 sanitation workers of RMC gathered at Albert Ekka Chowk on Friday to protest against non-payment of incentive for over a month
The sanitation workers, however, returned to work when the corporation promised to pay each of them an incentive of Rs 2,000 every month.

Achintya Ganguly   |   Ranchi   |   Published 18.07.20, 03:42 AM

A section of the frontline workers are on the protest path in the Jharkhand capital demanding promised dues.

Around 800 sanitation workers of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC), who were recently hailed and even felicitated by many organisations for their work as corona warriors, gathered at Albert Ekka Chowk here on Friday to protest against non-payment of incentive for over a month.

They said the corporation had stopped paying the monthly incentive of Rs 2,000 since June to the sanitation workers, numbering around 2,200.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19 in Ranchi, many sanitation workers had stopped reporting for duty everyday and the corporation had faced a challenge to keep the city clean.

The sanitation workers, however, returned to work when the corporation promised to pay each of them an incentive of Rs 2,000 every month. The incentive was also paid for three months from March to May.

The workers started agitating when they did not get the incentive for June and even threatened to cease work.

Ranchi mayor Asha Lakra met the protesters on Friday and announced that the corporation had decided to enhance their daily wage from the existing Rs 225 to Rs 294 and urged them not to resort to agitation.

The sanitation workers then went to the nearby corporation building to submit a memorandum demanding payment of the incentive.

“We paid them the incentive for three months and will continue to do so once we get funds from the state government,” Lakra later told The Telegraph. She said she had already written to the state government seeking funds for the purpose.

The corporation had already resolved to enhance the daily wage of the workers and also informed them about the move, she said. The corporation is cash-starved and not in a position to pay the incentive unless the state government releases funds, she added.

“Our revenue collection has gone down drastically during the lockdown,” she said, adding the government was yet to help the corporation with funds.

“We put forward our demands and are waiting for their decision,” said Dayanand Yadav, president of RMC Safari Mazdoor Sangh.

He said they would soon decide on the next course of action if they did not receive the incentive.

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