Conservancy workers protest in Mumbai for 'promised' benefits

BMC contract workers' union protest outside the civic body HQ in south Mumbai demanding the authorities provide them provident fund and medical cover that was promised to them in 2009 

There was commotion outside the BMC headquarters on Monday as members of Safai Kachara Vahatuk Shramikshan, which is a BMC contract workers' union, protested the death of a fellow worker. The protesters had even stationed the ambulance that had the the dead body of the worker nearby. The protest went on for around half hour, following which they were given a verbal assurance by the authorities.

The union demanded justice for thirty-five-year-old Yunus Sheikh who lost his life when the BMC garbage collection van he worked with met with an accident on Friday. The union alleged that the civic body had not provided provident fund or medical cover to conservancy workers despite committing to do so in 2009. The authorities reassured them that benefits and social security will be provided to conservancy workers.

Milind Ranade, general secretary of the union, said, "Now that Sheikh is dead, his wife is entitled to a pension, but due to faulty paperwork that will not be processed. We are demanding justice for the family."

Sheikh has been survived by his wife and three children (two daughters and a son) all in the age group of 10 and 18 years.

The union leaders met additional Municipal Commissioner Pallavi Darade, who has assured positive action on the civic body's part, after inspecting the case. "We will certainly give them what we have committed. We are in the process. As of a compensation or job to his kin, I can't promise anything. We will have to check the merits," Darade said.

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