Basti- During the UP Assembly budget session, Rajendra Prasad Chaudhary, the Rudhauli MLA from Basti district, brought attention to the disparity in the salaries of sanitation workers across different areas. He questioned the Labor and Service Planning Coordination Minister Anil Rajbhar about the significant difference in wages between rural and urban sanitation workers, highlighting the unfair treatment faced by urban sweepers despite their equally strenuous work.
Expressing concern over the exploitation of contract-based municipal sanitation workers, Samajwadi Party MLA Rajendra Prasad Choudhary stated, "There is exploitation in the appointments being made through service providers. The government pays Rs 10,575 to un-skilled laborers, Rs 11,303 to semi-skilled laborers, and Rs 12,666 to skilled laborers, whereas sanitation workers hired through service providers receive a mere Rs 366.14 per day for their labour, less than semi-skilled and skilled laborers, and they only receive payment for 26 days instead of 30. PF deductions are also made from this meager salary."
He further highlighted the stark contrast between the earnings of service providers, who act as middlemen, and the sanitation workers they employ, emphasizing the economic disparity and exploitation within the system.
Despite facing economic hardship, sanitation workers are compelled to pay large sums of money, up to Rs 40-50 thousand, for their appointments through service providers.
Chaudhary also raised concerns about the low wages of workers such as Anganwadi employees, cooks, Asha bahus, caretakers, and Asha Sanginis, emphasizing that their salaries are significantly lower than those of semi-skilled and skilled laborers, leading to severe financial strain.
In response to MLA Rajendra Prasad's questions, Minister Anil Rajbhar defended the government's system, stating, "The government has made arrangements for a transparent portal for outsourcing employees. There is no plan to end this system. Outsourced employees are employed by a company, and we cannot directly employ them in government services."
The plight of sanitation workers was further illustrated by a worker from Basti district, who, under conditions of anonymity, expressed to The Mooknayak, the difficulty of sustaining a family on a meager salary. Despite facing unemployment, many workers are forced to accept these low wages to make ends meet, often resorting to borrowing money to cover basic expenses.
The MLA urged the Assembly Speaker to address the salary disparity among sanitation workers, emphasizing the need to end the exploitation by service providers and ensure fair wages for all workers.