Mumbai: In this pandemic when cleanliness is really next to godliness, it seems that there is hardly anyone for upkeep and housekeeping at Western Railway's workshop in Lower Parel. This is because the housekeeping staffs on contract have been removed by the contractor and WR is busy in patching up between the two.
There were 150-odd staffs who have been allegedly removed by the contractor and a complaint has been sent to the Labour Commissioner and police about the same. According to sources, earlier this week these housekeeping staffs who have been employed by a private contractor outsourced by the WR authorities were asked to leave.
This is because of a dispute between the contractor and the staffs over the latter’s daily wages. Initially, the contractor allegedly removed 25 people more than a week ago and gradually removed a majority of them working at the Lower Parel workshop. In a complaint written to the Labour Commissioner, the staffs have mentioned that the contractor is insisting all the daily wagers to work at Rs 424 per day and that they can come only if it's acceptable to them. The letter said that a few of the staffs had already been removed earlier this month and no formal notice was given to them.
“We have neither been getting full wages nor getting it on time. Now, the contractor has removed most of us and is ready to take in only if we agree to work at way lower wages,” said a contract wager working as housekeeping staff at Lower Parel workshop. “We were responsible for cleanliness at the workshop, offices and overall upkeep”.
BJP Leader Kirit Somaiya who had approached the railways on behalf of these daily wage staffs said that he had spoken to the railway administration and the contractor and instructed them to make full payment to the daily wage staffs. “I will surely look into this if the staffs have been removed,” said Somaiya.