Pimpri-Chinchwad: SC Directs PCMC To Pay Rs 39 Crore Pending Salaries Of Contract Sanitation Workers 

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Pimpri, December 18, 2020: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to release a sum of Rs 39 crore — the pending salaries of 469 contractual sanitation workers following the Supreme Court’s order. The employees were hired by contractors to maintain, clean and repair toilets in the civic, health and medical departments. The apex court has directed the civic body to clear the amount promptly; the amount of difference payable and the amount of interest, according to the Equal Work, Equal Pay Act.

Maintenance, cleaning and repair work of toilets at the civic administration’s various departments like a slum, health and medical departments including YCM Hospital were undertaken on a contract basis by Sulabh International, Vishal Enterprises and MSCP Enterprises between January 1998 to September 2004. 

The National Workers’ Union (NWU) had approached the High Court in 2005 seeking equal pay for equal work for workers hired by municipal contractors. The court had directed that the primary responsibility for payment of wages of the workers involved in the case lies with the contractors and if the contractor is unable to fulfil this responsibility, the workers should be paid by the Municipal Corporation. The corporation appealed to the Supreme Court against this decision but it was denied.

Multiple Court Cases Over The Years

A contempt petition against the order was filed in 2017 and the High Court ruled its decision on July 17, 2018. Following this result, the Pune Additional Labor Commissioner, after conducting time to time hearings, had ordered the PCMC to clear pending salaries of Rs 16.9 crore along with nine percent interest to the 469 contract sanitation workers on February 28, 2019.

The Additional Labour Commissioner has given the result by considering the number of workers given by the Rashtriya Shramik Aghadi and the number of working days. The corporation filed a petition in the High Court in 2019 against the decision, saying that the contract was given to Sulabh International and Vishal Civil Contractor for the maintenance, cleanliness and repair of toilets. The petition was dismissed by the High Court. The corporation filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the order. The Supreme Court directed the Pune Additional Labour Commissioner to implement the verdict dated February 28, 2019, within three months.

PCMC Head Agrees To Release The Money

PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar approved the proposal to deposit the amount shown in front of the names of the workers of Sulabh International and Vishal Civil Contractors in their accounts as the implementation has to be completed in time. Accordingly, the process of crediting the amount to the account of the concerned workers has been initiated.

Revised Budget Required In New Year

At present, the budgetary provision under the heading of cleaning through privatisation by the Regional Health Department of the Municipal Corporation is Rs 7.15 crores. Out of this, Rs 4.65 crore has been spent so far. So, there is a provision balance of Rs 3.46 crore. The amount of difference and interest payable to the concerned workers is Rs 30.92 crores and the amount of difference and interest payable to the workers for cleaning the YCM hospital is Rs 8.37 crore. A total provision of Rs 39.29 crore is required. Therefore, an amount of Rs. 39.29 crore will be provided from the provision under the heading of sanitation through privatisation by the Regional Health Department. Adequate provision will be made in the revised budget for the year 2020-21.