Tirumala Temple Officials Wield Brooms As Cleaners Go On Strike Over Pay
Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh: A week after nearly a thousand cleaners went on an unannounced strike over a wage discrepancy, officials at Andhra Pradesh’s famous Tirumala temple today took up brooms instead of pens.
Officials of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) took up the cleanliness drive and accompanied the District Collector.
AV Dharma Reddy, executive officer (EO) of TTD, one of the richest temples in the world, said the temple trust would never succumb to such “blackmail” tactics.
Instead, a cleanliness drive called Sundara Tirumala-Suddha Tirumala‘ (Beautiful Tirumala, Pure Tirumala) will be carried out every month, he said.
Mr Reddy said the strong staff of TTD appointed by the government would help keep the surroundings of the temple town clean, green and hygienic for the visiting devotees.
The cleaners, who went on strike last week, alleged that their contract firm had promised them ₹ 11,000 a month, but they were getting only ₹ 9,000.
The aggrieved workers proposed to reduce their wages to ₹ 8,000, despite the temple trust warning of banning strikes under the TTD rules.
At this impasse, Mr Reddy floated the idea of cleanliness drive with TTD staff under the slogan ‘Sundara Tirumala-Suddha Tirumala‘.