Muzaffarabad: Municipal staff stage demonstration

Category: Local Government

Muzaffarabad: Municipal staff stage demonstration
March 9, 2011: Lower staff of the Municipal Corporation including the sanitary workers staged a protest demonstration in front of the press club here on Wednesday against the apathetic attitude of the council’s administration about their problems.
Earlier, the workers observed onehour token strike and later, marched to the press club and staged a protest demonstration raising slogans in favour of their demands.
They also threatened to go on a complete strike if their demands were not met by the authorities concerned by Friday.
Talking to newsmen, President Local Council Employees Association Shaikh Tahir Wasim said that the employees had been conveying their problems to the administrator and chief officer MCM from time to time but to no avail.
“The hard working lower staff earns money and goodwill for the civic body but the administrator and chief officer have turned a deaf ear to our problems compelling us to take to the streets,” he said.
Mr Wasim said there were 90 sanitary workers in 1996 and despite demands their strength had not been increased ever since although the population of the capital had almost doubled.
According to him, the sanitary equipment had not been purchased for the past one and a half years and the sanitary workers were facing problems in carrying out their duties. Despite that they collected garbage regularly and removed it to a landfill site, he said.
He said the sanitary workers, fire brigade and Octroi collection staff were entitled to overtime but that was being denied to them under one pretext or the other.
“Our officers do not realise the workers problems. Sitting in their cozy rooms, they think everything is all right,” lamented one sanitary worker.
He said that the work-charge sanitary staff had not been paid salaries for the past five months causing countless problems for them.
“We get a paltry sum of Rs5,000 a month but that, too, has not been paid to us for months,” said one work-charge worker.
An Octroi section employee said the civic body was generating revenue but its bosses were not giving even admissible benefits to the lower staff.
“If they can’t solve our problems, how we can perform our duties with peace of mind,” he said.
Mr Wasim said they had given a 13point charter of demand to the administrator and chief officer and its copies were also sent to the prime minister and the authorities concerned.
“If they fail to resolve these issues, all of us will go on a complete strike,’ he said.
Chief Officer Municipal Council Zahoor Awan while talking to Dawn said that the overtime had already been given to the fire brigade and the Octroi collection staff. However, he made it clear that those who did not perform their duties efficiently would not be tolerated.

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