Due to this strike, the sanitation work in the hospital has also been affected.

Hyderabad hospital sanitary workers go on strike after govt stalls payments
news News Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 11:44

Rudrama Devi, a 42-year-old sanitary worker at a hospital in Hyderabad has been facing a major financial crisis due to the delay in payment of salary. As her husband’s daily wages alone are not enough to run the family, she had to take a loan.

“We work day and night cleaning the hospital, what are we getting in return?” she asks. She has borrowed Rs 12,000 and doesn’t know how she will repay the amount.

Many like Rudrama are facing similar problems due to delay in payment.

Over 80 sanitation workers and security employees working at Fever Hospital went on strike on Tuesday demanding payment of salaries, which have not been paid for three consecutive months by their third party employer Crystal.

They have refused to resume work till they get the full payment of their pending salaries for July, August and September.       

The workers earn nearly Rs 7,500 every month which is utilized for paying their rent, household and other expenses. For the past three months, most of them have been managing their expenses by taking loans.

However, this is not the first time that their salaries have been delayed. For the past two years, the salary payout has been irregular, with emoluments being disbursed only once or twice in four months.

The agency that employed the workers before Crystal, has not paid the provident fund for four years. The workers filed a case against the agency last year in Karkhana Police Station.

“I sold my gold earrings, to pay for my children’s school fees in April. And now my daughter has to quit school because I don’t have enough money to educate both my children,” says D Jyothi, Fever Hospital president of Telangana Medical Contract Employees & Workers Union.

Jyothi, a 36-year-old single mother has been struggling to educate her son and daughter for the past two years. She is the only working person in the family and due to her irregular salary, she has been forced to take her daughter out of school this year.

Due to this strike, the sanitation work in the hospital has also been affected. They are depending on nearly 50 permanent employees to meet the sanitation needs.

K Shankar, the superintendent of Fever Hospital is sympathetic to the problems faced by the workers. On Tuesday, he issued a memo to the agency telling them not to delay their payments because it affects the hospital’s work.

He says that as the state health department had outsourced the sanitation and security work at Fever hospital to a third party agency named Crystal, the payments are not in his hands.

“The agency had cleared their two month’s salary a few days ago but they are not ready to take, they are insisting on full payment which the agency said might take some time,” he said.

“What is the point in taking two month’s salary, it will all go in paying back the loans, and we are demanding our three month’s salaries so that at least we can survive for this month. It is our right,” says Mohammad Qamaruddin, secretary of Telangana Medical Contract Employees & Workers Union.

However, the agency has put the blame on the government for delaying the payment saying they had to pay the salaries of the workers from their own pocket.

“We have cleared the payment today, they will get their cheques soon. This is not our fault, the government has not paid us for the last 11 months, so how can Crystal be responsible for delay in payments,” said Santosh Tilla from Crystal Agency. 

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