EVEN as the Delhi maneuverings to decide on the bifurcation issue reached a feverish pitch, the working people of all three regions of Andhra Pradesh are unitedly on struggle path centering around their genuine demands.
The 1.8 lakh strong Anganwadi workers and helpers in the state are conducting indefinite hunger strikes demanding hike in wages. Addressing the Anganwadi workers at the strike camp in Hyderabad, CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu demanded that the genuine issues facing the working people of the state must be discussed in the state assembly. He demanded that the Anganwadi workers must be paid a minimum wage of Rs 10,000 along with retirement, ESI and PF benefits. He expressed full support of the CPI(M) to their struggle.
At the same time in support of over 60,000 outsourced sanitation workers in municipalities, nine workers’ unions undertook a five-day long strike across the state demanding hike in wages. The mayor of Hyderabad threatened the workers of invoking ESMA but the workers stood firm.
A huge Chalo Assembly was oganised jointly by the unions in which thousands of workers rallied. CPI(M) state secretary and floor leaders of Left parties addressed the workers.
CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu and CPI(M) MLA J Ranga Reddy led a delegation of leaders of employees and workers and submitted a memorandum to the chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on 11th February seeking his urgent intervention in resolving the issues.
The issues raised by the delegation included solving the problems facing the Anganwadi workers and helpers; hiking the wages and regularising the over 5.5 lakh contract and outsourcing employees working in government departments, corporations, local bodies and universities etc; regularising over 50,000 time-scale/contingent employees and till that process is completed, payment of wages on par with regular employees; provide job security to contract lecturers and consider regularising them.
Bowing to the steadfast struggle, the municipal administration minister called a meeting of unions and conceded to hike the wages of the contractorised sanitation workers. The government agreed to pay Rs 8500 a month to a sanitation worker in Greater Hyderabad, Rs 8300 in other municipal corporations and municipalities, and Rs 7300 in nagar panchayat areas. The workers had demanded a minimum salary of Rs 12,500.