The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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Country India

March 27, 2013

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The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) authorities had been shockingly apathetic to the inhuman treatment to over 400 waste workers employed by its contractor BVG Kshitij. Almost a week ago, the Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) started a sit-in to protest for this situation. Read more about how the company BVG Kshitij violated Minimum Wages and Contract Labor.

This is a brief update on the 6 day long ‘sit-in’ organised by KKPKP (waste picker trade union) outside the PCMC that concluded yesterday when the Municipal Commissioner conceded to our demands in the face of the proof we submitted via documents collected using the Right to Information Act. Check all the information collected in this pdf.

The sit-in started on April 20th and continued until 6 pm yesterday – on the pavement at a busy traffic signal just outside the PCMC building with around 150 wastepickers participating every day after work at 2 pm and around 30 wastepickers taking turns with us to spend the night as well. Although it was raining, it was of course, not just GREAT fun to spend the nights on the road, (singing songs, eating food that they all took turns to bring and discussing strategies), but also of course a very useful solidarity building process

And of course the PCMC agreed to our demands at the end of it although I am  sceptical about whether they will actually pay up and how soon. But if they do, it means wastepickers will be paid almost INR 3,000,00,00 towards work they have done in the last year, during which their wages were ‘adjusted’ against the dry waste they retrieved and sold. If they dont pay up, we will have to both re start the agitation and file for compensation at the Labour Department- although that process is lengthy it could result in a bigger penalty imposed on BVG and the PCMC. We will have to wait a few days to see how it goes.

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