The Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union of Delhi has alleged that the Arvind Kejriwal Government has backtracked from tripartite agreement on revoking the termination of around 1,000 anganwadi workers who participated in a protest against the State Government in February.

‘Undemocratic behaviour’

General secretary of the union, Kamla, told reporters here on Friday that the Kejriwal Government is behaving in an undemocratic manner and most of the sacked workers belonged to poor households. She said the union, affiliated to the CITU, will start an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Women and Children Development Ministry of the State. She demanded that the government revoke the termination of all anganwadi workers and helpers who have been “illegally and arbitrarily terminated”. She said the decision to impose Essential Services Maintenance Act on the protesters was undemocratic.

Kamla said the State Government should immediately pay pending wages of January 2022 and earned wages of February and March 2022. She said the Ministry backtracked from the consensus reached that the retrenched employees will be taken back. “This is not only against the democratic ethos, but also sabotages the efforts made by the union to solve the issue. This will further deteriorate the work situation in the department. Further, this clearly demonstrates the anti-worker attitude of the AAP government of Delhi,” she said.

She added that AAP is adamant in harassing such a large number of women workers, many of whom are differently abled, widows and single women. “Even workers and helpers who have joined the duty haven’t been paid full wages for January and the earned wages for February, March and April. Even the rents for Anganwadi centres haven’t been paid,” she said.

CITU Delhi general secretary, Anurag Saxena, said the union will meet Kejriwal on the undemocratic attitude of the ministry and shall request intervention into the matter from him. “This historical anti-worker attitude of the government resulting in mass termination of 991 anganwadi workers and helpers shall not be accepted by the trade union movement of Delhi. Our union shall unmask the anti-worker face of this government,” Saxena said.