Temporary staff of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation,AMC’s new west zone went on strike to press their demand for permanent employment in the AMC. A large number of municipal workers, including valve operators who attend to drainage and water supply valves and sanitary workers, stayed away from work on Tuesday in the new west zone. The areas affected include Thaltej, Jodhpurgam, Bodakdev, Sola, Shilaj, Gota and Ranip along with a few other areas. A few days back, the Gujarat Mazdoor Sabha (GMS) had organized a municipal workers’ group and taken out a protest march up to AMC’s office in Danapith area.
GMS claims that nearly 4,000 temporary workers in engineering, health and sanitation departments have joined their protest. Municipal authorities have claimed that the strike was illegal and that proper disciplinary action would be taken if the workers do not return to work on Wednesday. “This strike is illegal and we would take lawful action against the striking workers,” said municipal commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra. The workers have demanded that the Rs 70 for four hours of work currently paid to temporary workers is the bare minimum and that there was scope of making many temporary workers permanent employees.Except for Ghatlodia and Chandlodia wards, workers in all other wards of new west zone participated in the strike. “In a few wards, we turned off the valves in the drains, punctured care vehicles, tractors and trolley vehicles,” said an AMC worker Vikram Jhala. The central zone office had to send special air compressors to inflate the flattened tyres.”Many of the workers would return to duty as they have been given warning of criminal action and even immediate termination. We have already made alternative arrangements,” said a senior AMC official.