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Exploitation of loo workers, raises a stink in MBMC

Saturday, January 12, 2019
By Suresh Golani

Always in a hurry to dole out tender contracts to private parties, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is apparently depriving workers of their justified rights by  disregarding basic rules to be followed under the Minimum Wages Act.

The matter came to light after the Maharashtra State Commission for Safai Karmachari’s (MSCSK) slapped a show cause notice to the MBMC seeking clarity over allegations related to violation of government guidelines and exploitation of workers by the agencies deployed by the civic administration for the upkeep of community toilet complexes (CTC).

The civic administration has awarded contracts to 11 different social organisations for the upkeep and day-to-day maintenance of the 177 CTC’s  comprising around 3,500 toilet seats, constructed by the Public Works Department (PWD) in the various parts of the twin-city.

The civic administration pays Rs 24,000 per 30 toilet seats every month. However, it has been alleged that the most of the agencies which have been roped in for the work are exploiting the workers by depriving them of the minimum wages, insurance, provident fund  and taking back money after making payments through the bank on the virtue of  signed withdrawal slips and ATM cards.

“Notices have been issued to the concerned agencies and process was on to invite fresh tenders,” confirmed  the Deputy Municipal Commissioner Dr Sambhaji Panpatte.

It should be noted that despite a notification issued by the Labour Department revising the Minimum Wages Act with effect from February 24, 2015, the private contractors and the MBMC as their principal employer continue to flout the law with impunity.

Manpower supply deal under scanner
It should be noted that the BJP-ruled MBMC is already under the scanner for awarding a manpower supply contract for the provision of contractual drivers for official vehicles in various departments, this much-below-the-minimum-amount prescribed under the Minimum Wages Act clearly indicates  deep-rooted financial irregularities aimed at exploiting the workforce.

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