Mumbai: Over 8,000 contract labourers employed by civic bodies here to sweep streets of Mumbai, Thane and Nashik have threatened indefinite strike from Friday, ahead of Diwali, to press for their demands for payment of minimum wages and pending arrears.
A Coordination Committee comprising representatives of three trade unions -- Kachara Vahatuk Shramik Sangh, Maharashtra Municipal Kamgar Union and Nashik Manapa Shramik Sangh -- had issued a notice to the three municipal bodies, saying they would go on an indefinite strike from October 28 to seek minimum wages for contract labourers and payment of arrears.
Milind Ranade, General Secretary of the Committee, said the unions, representing mover 8,000 contract workers, had a meeting with Maharashtra Labour Minister Sambhaji Patil -Nilangekar two months ago. In the meeting, he assured them that these labourers will get minimum wages and also arrears of the last 20 months before Diwali.
"The Minister had instructed all the three municipal corporations to pay minimum wages and arrears to labourers.
However, this has not been done yet," Ranade said today.
"We have called the strike to seek justice for contract labourers," he added.
Patil-Nilangekar, however, said the demands of contract labourers will be met as promised. "I have instructed the corporations and before the end of the coming week, contract labourers will get their minimum wages."
He said action will be taken against officials if they failed to implement his orders.