Garbage collection in many parts of the city was affected temporarily on Monday when pourakarmikas in some wards went on a protest.
Supported by the Karnataka State Corporations, Municipalities, Town Municipalities’ Pourakarmika Union, several pourakarmikas also staged a dharna in front of the Gandhi statue at Maurya Circle, demanding that services of 18,000-odd civic workers be regularised.
Narayana (Mysore), president of the union, told The Hindu that despite assurances from the government more than three years ago, the services of drivers, cleaners, etc. had not been regularised. They continue to remain under contract though the civic body has been disbursing their salaries directly to their accounts since January 2018.
“We have been appealing to the government to heed to our demands. We also want the government to regularise the services of 3,000-odd drivers, cleaners, loaders and assistants of auto-tippers and compactors,” he said.
Apart from increasing the minimum wage to ₹25,000, the union has also demanded that for the recruitment of 4,000 pourakarmikas, the age limit be increased from 45 to 55, ensure that the services of pourakarmikas and others involved in solid waste management do not come under the newly constituted SWM special purpose vehicle. The union has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Other pourakarmika associations said that they did not support the strike.
Senior officials said that the protest delayed garbage clearing in around 60 wards in the city.
BBMP’s Chief commissioner said some grievances and demands had been addressed. “However, there should not be any disruption in services, as citizens will be inconvenienced greatly by this,” he said.
Later in the day, representatives of the union met Revenue Minister R. Ashok and senior BBMP officials. Mr. Narayana said that the Minister sought two month to address their demands.