Bhayandar: In a major jolt to the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC), members of the Zunj General Kamgaar Union, led by Amit Bhosale, has warned of a protest, seeking judicial intervention against the civic body for violating regulations of the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972. The union has given a 15-day ultimatum to the civic chief to ensure the private contractor clears gratuity dues payable to 1,599 conservancy workers according to fixed rules.
In response to the state labour commissioner’s directions, the civic chief had assured to reserve Rs1 crore a year towards gratuity and reimburse the sum when the contractual employee retires. The union termed it as a mere MBMC eyewash. As per section 2 A of the Payment of Gratuity Act, workers are eligible for the gratuity if they work continuously for five years or more. If the contractor does not pay gratuity, then the principal employer is liable to pay, which it can recover by deducting payments from the bills raised by the contractor. The MBMC had inked a five-year contract with Global Waste Management Company in 2012 to lift garbage from the twin-city and ferry it to the Uttan dump. While MBMC claims to have inserted the gratuity clause in new tender, the same agency has been in an extension mode since the expiry of the tender in 2017. “We’ll never let MBMC to escape liability and deny the workers’ rights,” said Bhosale. —Suresh Golani