Agartala: In a distressing turn of events, 32 cleaners employed at GB Pant Hospital and college hostels in Agartala have found themselves in dire financial straits as they have not received their salaries for five consecutive months.
This has prompted them to voice their grievances and issue a threat to go on strike if their arrears are not promptly settled.
The cleaning staff, hired under the management of contractor Sahadeb Majumdar, disclosed that their financial woes stem from the prolonged non-payment of government bills.
This hindrance has impeded the contractor’s ability to fulfill payroll obligations to the cleaners.
Despite holding meetings with the hospital’s Medical Superintendent (MS) and engaging in discussions with hostel officials, the workers claim to have only received assurances without any tangible resolution to their predicament.
The dissatisfaction reached a tipping point on Monday when the staff was promised Rs 5,000 each, along with the accumulated Rs 25,000 for the past five months.
However, they were met with further assurances and no actual disbursement of funds.
Expressing their frustration, the workers have initiated a protest, emphasising that if their outstanding payments are not cleared without delay, they will escalate their demonstration into a full-fledged strike.
Several sanitation workers, including Sumati Sarkar, recounted facing similar challenges in the past, citing instances where their salaries were withheld for as long as 14 months.
Sumati Sarkar highlighted the additional burden faced by the workers, who, in order to sustain their families during the salary drought, have resorted to taking loans.
Urgently calling for the settlement of their dues, the workers are determined to continue their agitation until their financial grievances are addressed.
As tensions rise and the threat of a strike looms, the spotlight is on both the contractor and government authorities to expedite the resolution of the payment issues and ensure the well-being of the dedicated cleaning staff at GB Hospital.