Sanitation workers in Pune staged a demonstration near the city Municipal Corporation office on Monday, demanding an extension of their contract and compensation for the work done during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other things.
The workers sat in front of the Pune Municipal Corporation office, holding placards with their demands written on them.
Speaking to ANI, a sanitation worker Raja Bai Sawant said that the protesters are demanding their contracts should be extended for at least 15 years and they should be compensated for the work they did during the pandemic.
"Earlier our contracts were for at least five years, but now they are giving us contracts for a year or two. This is like giving a bar of chocolate to a kid. We want longer contracts of up to 15 years," she said.
She said the sanitation workers of the city devised a garbage collection system for waste management in the city.
"We have created a waste management system in Pune. Earlier the garbage used to lie in the streets, we created a system of segregating biodegradable waste and non-biodegradable waste. Also, during COVID-19, we collected garbage from homes where there were COVID-19 patients. We were scared but we did it, but we were never compensated for it. We got nothing," she added.
Another protestor Jaishree Devi said that sanitation workers supported the elected members of Municipal Corporation, they should also support the workers.
"We have supported them, it should also support us. They have to listen to our demands. We worked throughout the whole pandemic in the past year, but we didn't get any compensation for that. We should be compensated for that. We don't have insurance, or essential things like gloves, PPE kits, slippers, buckets. We want all those things," she said.