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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Unpaid for 5 months, GB Hospital cleaners threaten strike


BY TC News Desk

Agartala, 20th November 2023:  In a distressing turn of events, 32 cleaners employed at GB Pant Hospital and college hostels have not received their salaries for five consecutive months, prompting them to voice their grievances and threaten a strike if their arrears are not promptly settled.

The cleaning staff, hired under the management of contractor Sahadeb Majumdar, revealed that their financial woes stem from the prolonged non-payment of government bills, hindering the contractor’s ability to fulfill payroll obligations.

Despite meeting with the hospital’s Medical Superintendent (MS) and engaging hostel officials in discussions, the workers claim to have only received assurances without any tangible resolution to their predicament. This dissatisfaction culminated on Monday when the staff was promised Rs 5,000  each, along with the accumulated Rs 25,000 for the past five months, only to be met with further assurances and no actual disbursement of funds.

Expressing their frustration, the workers have initiated a protest, emphasizing that if their outstanding payments are not cleared without delay, they will escalate their demonstration into a full-fledged strike. Several sanitation workers, including Sumati Sarkar, recounted facing similar challenges in the past, citing instances where their salaries were withheld for as long as 14 months.

Sumati Sarkar highlighted the additional burden faced by the workers, who, in order to sustain their families during the salary drought, have resorted to taking loans. Urgently calling for the settlement of their dues, the workers are determined to continue their agitation until their financial grievances are addressed.

As tensions rise and the threat of a strike looms, the spotlight is on both the contractor and government authorities to expedite the resolution of the payment issues and ensure the well-being of the dedicated cleaning staff at GB Hospital.

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