Millennium Post

Conservancy staff in Siliguri cease work, demand pay hike

Siliguri: Siliguri remained littered on Thursday as conservancy workers of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation switched onto protest mode.

With a 10 point charter of demands, they have launched a cease work protest. Talks with the Corporation authorities having failed on Thursday, the workers have threatened to continue the agitation. The workers under the aegis of Uttar Banga Safai Karmachari Samity launched an agitation from Wednesday. The demands include regularisation, wage hike and land documents. The workers have stopped cleaning the streets, vats and picking up garbage. Instead they have been dumping garbage in key thoroughfares including Hill Cart road and Court More.

Talks between the Samity and SMC Commissioner on Thursday failed. "We have demanded a 20 per cent wage hike. They have not agreed to it. We will continue with the agitation," stated Kiran Raut of the Samity.

The SMC was run by the Left Front. After the term of the board ended the State Government had appointed a Board of Administrators (BOA) "We have agreed to a 10 per cent hike in salary from March," stated Sonam Wangdi Bhutia, Commissioner, SMC.

There are 2571 workers in the department including 371 permanent workers. The remaining temporary workers get wages of around Rs 6000 per month. "They have a right to make demands but cease work that too during the pandemic is highly condemnable. Their demands will be placed before the new board," stated Ashok Bhattacharjee, Chairman, BOA.

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