Monday, November 29, 1999

Civic unions threaten strike, health and garbage services may be hit

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Mumbai, June 18 -- The civic health service and garbage collection may get paralysed June end as two major unions have threatened to go on strike for three days from 29 June to July 1. Sharad Rao of Municipal Mazdoor Union and Baba Kadam of Municipal Karmachari-kamgar Sena (led by Shiv Sena) announced on Thursday that they will agitate outside hospitals, health posts and conservancy chowkies. Both unions have demanded that the salaries of the civic employees should be revised on the basis of sixth pay commission recommendations. Rao said, "About 80,000 employees including contract workers will be on a Sit-in agitation for 72 hours starting from June 29 midnight and a notice to that effect in the form of letter has already been sent to the civic chief." The two unions have majority of the civic staff as their members. The unions have decided that the staff responsible for health and garbage cleaning will go on strike first as the consequence of the strike would force a knee-jerk reaction from the municipal body. Municipal commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya however said: "We are meeting next week with the union leaders and will sort out the issue without agitation." "We are also interested in sorting out the issue about the Sixth Pay Commission." he added. He also claimed that 90 per cent of the employees are affiliated with these two unions. "Though health services fall under emergency services, to what extent can the employees tolerate such a situation," said Rao. He said that the water department will not participate in the agitation though the department is short of 5,000 employees.

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