Mira Bhayandar

156 Mira-Bhayander Covid warriors not paid since March, stage protest

Around 156 contractual Covid warriors — nurses, clerks, sweepers and ward boys — attached to the Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Civic Hospital in Bhayander, have started a ‘Begging Bowl’ campaign on Wednesday to demand their salaries. They have been denied their salaries since March.

Former Vasai MLA Vivek Pandit, president of Shramjeevi Sanghatana, who is supporting the agitation said the workers were on the forefront, battling the Covid pandemic, and now since March, they have been denied their salaries. “The contractual workers were doing duty through a private labour contractor. The agent has blamed the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) for the pending payments,” said Pandit.

The Centre had ordered all states and union territories to remit the salaries of Covid warriors on time. “The MBMC is not following the said order. Hence, the workers have started this agitation, by marching out of the civic hospital with begging bowls in their hands since Wednesday,” said Pandit.

Sultan Patel, a frontline worker, said, “We risked our lives and in return, we are denied payment. There was no option left but to protest.”

Dr Ashok Gite, chief medical officer, MBMC confirmed that the 156 contractual workers have not been paid since March. “We will release the amount within this week as soon as we receive the funds,” he added.

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