- Sanitation workers in Haryana have been on strike for a fortnight
- The workers are demanding minimum wage and better equipment
- The Haryana government has set up a committee to look into the grievances
New Delhi: For a fortnight now, several streets in Haryana have tiny mounds of garbage, clear signs of waste not being cleared for days. As the sanitation workers strike in Haryana enters its fifteenth day, a committee has been set up by the state government to look into the grievances of the sanitation workers and hold meetings to work out on how to agree to their demands. As the strike continues and garbage keeps piling on the streets of Haryana, the clash between sanitation workers and administration comes to the fore, similar to such protests in Delhi and Bengaluru. Similar to the 2017 sanitation workers’ protests, demand for better equipment for work, minimum salary and medical facilities have been the highlights of Haryana’s sanitation worker’s protests as well.
During the course of their protest, the major demands made by Haryana’s sanitation workers has been regularisation of contractual employees, minimum salary of Rs 15,000 and allowances for both permanent and contractual employees, risk allowance depending on the nature of cleanliness work and better safety equipment. The lack of proper equipment often results in injuries and deaths of sanitation workers across India. The role of the state government has also been criticised by the sanitation workers, who have alleged that the government has forced the workers to work under poor and unsafe conditions and were not willing to give in to their demands.
The Haryana government has meanwhile, asked municipal commissioners to ensure that cleanliness was maintained across the state and has also issued directions to deploy additional sanitation workers to ensure that garbage is removed from the streets. The move however, has not had the desired effect, as the effect of the strike by over 3,000 sanitation workers can already be seen on the streets of Haryana. Though the talks between the state government and the sanitation workers have failed on two previous occasions due to the latter group not willing to compromise on their demands, Haryana Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi has said that the state will soon work out a solution to accommodate the demands of the agitating Safai Karmacharis.
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