GVMC waterworks staff on flash strike, cut off water to Mayor, commissioner

VISHAKHAPATNAM: Waterworks employees of the GVMC and sanitary personnel resorted to a flash strike for a few hours on Monday demanding implementation of an agreement related to filling of death vacancies and a hike in the wages.

The agitators disabled the water supply system by closing down the main pump station at the TSR Complex and from Gajuwaka to Gosthani from 5 am to 10 am. They also stopped water supply to the homes of the mayor and municipal commissioner.

The strike ended after waterworks superintending engineer K.V.N. Ravi promised in writing that talks would be held on January 12. The workers resumed their work from 10.30 am. “All the issues had been solved and wages hiked to Rs 18,000 recently. As for the filling of vacancies, discussions are on,’’ Mayor Hari Venkatakumari said.

The superintending engineer said while the waterworks department has 1,550 workers, only 60 of them went on the strike. “They are demanding the filling up of death vacancies, which number only 16. We will talk things out on January 12,’’ he told DC.

CITU president R.S.K.V. Kumar said that, as per the GO, the skilled persons in waterworks should get Rs 21,500 per month, semi-skilled Rs 18,000 and unskilled Rs 13,000. But all the workers are being paid the lowest salary of Rs 13,000.

Earlier, hundreds of workers from the sanitation, parks, malaria and veterinary departments were prevented from entering the collectorate to submit a memorandum. The leaders were bundled into vans and taken to the police barracks, where they were detained till the evening.

Union leaders said the main demand was to fill 482 death vacancies as was promised in a resolution passed by the GVMC council in 2012. It was implemented till 2018 and then stalled. Recently, the collector issued a notification to fill the vacancies in the open category, they said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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