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Mumbai Sanitation Workers Protest After Losing Jobs Due To Spelling Error

MUMBAI:  Sanitation workers sacked by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as their names were misspelt in documents submitted to the Supreme Court that sought permanent status for their jobs, on Thursday held a protest against the civic body’s decision. They were joined at Azad Maidan, the protest venue, by sanitation workers from Thane and Navi Mumbai municipal corporations who have been dismissed for similar reasons.

The BMC made some of these workers permanent nine months ago after the top court order but later found discrepancies in spellings of some names in documents submitted to the top court and therefore removed the workers from the service, the workers union claimed.

The workers have accused the BMC of not following due process while terminating their services.

The three civic bodies employ thousands of sanitation workers who sweep streets, clean sewers, collect garbage and transport it to dumping grounds. A majority of these workers are not permanent civic employees and are hired through a network of contractors and sub-contractors.

Milind Ranade, General Secretary of the Kachra Vahtuk Shramik Sangh, the workers’ union, said over 1,400 sweepers lost jobs recently.

“The Sangh filed a case in the industrial tribunal of Mumbai in 2007, on behalf of 2,700 workers. It reached the Supreme Court which asked corporations to regularise their jobs,” he said.

Manohar Janardhan Jadhav of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation said, “We are sweepers and don’t know English language. The officers are sacking us, saying our names don’t match with the names mentioned in the list of 2,700 people to be regularised.”
BMC’s additional municipal commissioner Vijay Singhal said the civic body was following the Supreme Court’s guidelines.

“We are giving jobs to everyone whose name matches with the list given by the court,” he said.

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