Under the banner of The Joint Action Committee, UT Employees took to the streets on Friday in a show of solidarity, holding demonstration in support of their demands against administration.
The demonstration was organized under the Joint Action Committee of Chandigarh administration and MC Employees, and aimed to address the long-standing issue of daily wage workers not receiving the benefits of the sixth pay scale.
The Joint Action Committee, representing the aggrieved employees, handed over a demand letter to SDM Sanyam Garg, who assured them that their concerns would be promptly forwarded to UT Administrator Banwari Lal Purohit. The employees expressed their hope that their demands would be addressed in a timely manner.
In a bid to garner attention and raise awareness about their cause, UT employees assembled near the Sector 17 Shivalik View Hotel, where they resorted to banging plates and loudly vocalizing their grievances. They stood along the roadside, expressing their dissatisfaction with the Administration and the Municipal Corporation (MC).
During the protest, Ashwani Kumar the committee’s convenor, and Surmukh Singh, the chairman, took the opportunity to address the gathered employees. Both leaders expressed their disappointment with the administration’s lack of response and their failure to meet the demands of UT employees.
The Joint Action Committee said that if their demands are not fulfilled promptly, they will organize further demonstrations. He said a meeting of the committee is already scheduled to discuss the next course of action, if the administration does not address the employees’ concerns in a satisfactory manner.
Ashwani Kumar said, the Chandigarh Administration’s proposal to merge the Horticulture Department with the Forest Department has sparked outrage among employees.
He said, employees of the Horticulture Department, who have played a crucial role in beautifying the city, oppose the administration’s plan.
Kumar stated that although the regular employees received the benefits of the sixth pay scale two years ago, daily wage employees have been neglected in this regard.
Additionally, outsourced workers have expressed their anger over a notification issued by the administration pertaining to the DC rate.
He said, despite their prolonged demand for a 21% increase, the actual increase was a mere 5 to 8%. Consequently, there is a demand from employees for an appropriate adjustment of the DC rate for outsource workers.
To address these concerns, several demands have been put forth by the employees and workers. These include the establishment of fair policies for outsourced workers, equitable pay for equal work, action against contractors involved in corrupt practices, timely filling of vacant posts, regularization of daily wage workers, fixed working hours for watchmen, increased wages for mid-day meal workers, expedited provision of pensions and pensionary benefits for retired employees, and the regularization of employees recruited in the Municipal Corporation after December 1996.
Ashwani Kumar said that if their demands are not met, a demonstration will be organized following a meeting of the Joint Action Committee. He urged the administration and officials from the Municipal Corporation to allocate time for discussions with the Joint Action Committee to seek a resolution.
The demonstration was addressed by committee members such as Sarwan Kumar, Kuldeep Singh, Kamal Kumar, Sanjay Duhan, Rajinder Singh, Yaad Ram, Narinder Choudhary, Ashok Kumar, Nachtar Singh, Laljeet, Kali Charan, Ravinder Bindu, Gurmeet Singh Yaad Ram, Hukam Chand, and others.