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Striking garbage collectors reject wage hike offer

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Himachal Khurki
Himachali with blood, heart & Soul. Gali Gali Himachal Ki Nas Nas Mein Basi Hain. Truly loves & care about the state of Himachal Pradesh

Shimla, Sep 19: The much-hyped fortnight-long “Swachta Hi Sewa” campaign launched on September 15 to pay “true tribute” to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary on October 2 today received a major jolt in the capital city here after about 525 Sehb garbage collectors rejected the 10 per cent wage hike offer of the newly constituted 34-member House.

In most of the 34 wards, garbage collectors have refused to resume duties even after over a week. The heaps of garbage have started to pile up as more than 10 tonnes of waste is being dumped here and there in the hill slopes. On its part, the SMC claimed that they are lifting about 60 tonnes of waste daily by the available manpower.

Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma earlier today chaired the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Sehb society which was attended by Shimla Mayor Kusum Sadret, deputy Mayor Rakesh Sharma and MC officials and okayed a monthly wages hike of 10 per cent per month for the garbage collectors from this year and another 10 per cent hike from the next year.

The SMC charges Rs 50 per family and Rs 1000 from the bigger hotels and commercial establishments per month as user charges. Sadret had put the onus on Sudhir Sharma for maintaining hygiene in the city stating that the SMC faced fund crunch as Sehb society has an income of Rs 29 lakh while it had to pay Rs 40 lakh as the wages per month to workers and 10 per cent hike would put extra burden on the society.

But the garbage collectors, who have been working under the Sehb society since 2010, rejected the Shimla municipal corporation’s offer. The garbage collectors insisted that they should get 20 per cent hike as promised by the SMC earlier.

They said they should get minimum wages of Rs 10,500 per month and the SMC should deposit the pending amount of Rs 2 crore in their provident fund accounts, which were sealed by the PF Commissioner recently, they demanded. Municipal Commissioner GC Negi said they were trying to convince the garbage collectors to call off the strike.

Source Tribune India

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