Mrunal Manmay Dash

The sanitation workers, who had been on a cease-work strike since Monday, put their protest on hold after another round of discussion with the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor on Wednesday morning.

The workers have returned to duty and started picking up garbage from the streets.

As per reports, the BMC has assured the sanitation workers in writing to fulfill their demands of a salary hike in three days and waste segregation in 15 days following which they suspended their strike.

However, they warned to relaunch the strike again after two days if the BMC does not deliver on the promise.

“The government will announce the good news in two days. So, we have called off our strike for the next two days. We will again go to strike if the government backtracks from its promise,” said BMC Sanitation Workers Federation general secretary, Sahadev Nayak.

Speaking about the discussion and assurance, BMC Mayor Sulochana Das said, “We discussed with the workers; the government has assured them to look into their demands. The salary hike has not been fixed yet. We have taken three days from them.”

“They feared their salary could not be hiked once the election Model Code of Conduct comes into force in a few days. But we assured them that once Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik agrees to their demands, it will surely be fulfilled. So, they have resumed their duties from today,” Das said.

It is pertinent to mention here that the sanitation workers of over 53 wards out of the 67 wards in Bhubaneswar launched a cease-work strike on Monday. They demanded a salary hike to Rs 15000 and refused to segregate dry waste from wet waste.