Conclusion of the Seventh S.T.P. Contract Workers Union Conference in Shimla

The seventh conference of the S.T.P. Contract Workers Union affiliated with CITU concluded in Shimla. Attendees included many workers and key figures such as CITU state president Vijendra Mehra, district secretary Ramakant Mishra, and treasurer Balak Ram. During the conference, Dalip Singh was elected union president, Pankaj Sharma as general secretary, Dhanesh Kumar as treasurer, Radhey Shyam and Sunil Sanju as vice presidents, Reena Sharma and Ravindra as secretaries, with Pushpa, Tek Chand, Sandeep, Ashok Kumar, Ankush, Sunil Sharma, Ram Lal, Seema, Anil, Ranjit, Ramesh, and Bharat Bhushan chosen as committee members.

The conference was inaugurated by Vijendra Mehra. In their addresses, Vijendra Mehra, Ramakant Mishra, Balak Ram, Pankaj Sharma, and Dalip Singh demanded that all workers of the Sewerage Treatment Plant and network be given equal pay for equal work as per the Supreme Court’s decision of October 26, 2016. They also called for the regularization of workers in line with the Supreme Court’s decision of March 12, 2024.

A separate wage schedule should be created for these workers, providing them with 40% higher wages than the minimum wage due to the hazardous nature of their work, which involves exposure to toxic and flammable gases. All STPs should be registered under the Factory Act, and all facilities under the Act should be provided to the workers. In accordance with the Manual Scavengers Act 2013 and recommendations of the National Safai Commission, workers should be equipped with safety gear, including PPE kits, oxygen masks, gumboots, helmets, gloves, life jackets, safety glasses, safety belts, portable fans, first aid kits, soap, sanitizers, skin lotion, masks, etc.

The Manual Scavengers Act 2013 should be strictly enforced, with strong action taken against violators as per the Supreme Court’s decision of March 27, 2014. Identity cards should be issued to all workers. Separate changing rooms, bathrooms, laundry, and toilet facilities should be provided for male and female workers. Network workers should have designated rooms for meals and tool storage. Adequate drinking water and Aquaguard facilities should be available at all STPs.

Repairs should be made to the old staff quarters at all STPs, new roofs should be installed, and additional staff quarters should be constructed. Workers should receive two uniform sets suitable for winter and summer. Immediate filling of all vacant positions is necessary. All errors in EPF and ESI should be corrected, and outstanding payments deposited. Workers should be paid before the 7th of each month. The manure produced at the STPs, causing a stench and complaints from local residents, should be promptly removed. Workers should be provided with bonuses and granted all types of leaves, including earned, casual, medical, national, and festival holidays. Wages should be increased annually based on seniority.

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