A fight erupted between guards of Shipra Srishti, a high-rise in Indirapuram, and employees of Shipra Estate Limited (SEL), developer of the high-rise, after the employees informed the guards that their services have been terminated with immediate effect on Saturday.
The guards later alleged that they were forced to leave.
SEL had allegedly, in the morning, sent a bunch of bouncers to the society accompanied by staff of management of the society’s maintenance. They asked the security guards to handover their duties to new guards who were also present at the scene.
However, the guards demanded the management to pay their pending salaries first. “We haven’t been paid for the months of April and May. Now, suddenly, we are informed that our contract is over. We don’t trust the management and want our full salary, only then we would leave,” said Ashok Singh, a security guard.
“But the management did not listen and their bouncers started threatening us. This is when we retaliated leading to a physical fight,” Singh informed.
Post the altercation, the ousted guards staged a protest for the entire day. By the evening, only half of their salary for the month of April was credited to their account, the guards claimed. “We have received only Rs 5 lakhs out of Rs 12 lakhs pending, the cumulative amount of one month’s salary of all the guards,” claimed Shailendra Kumar, security supervisor.
Meanwhile, the management claimed that they have paid full salary for April. “We have paid Rs 9 lakhs to the security agency. Since the month of May has just ended, we are in the process of accounting and the remaining amount will be cleared within the next two to three days,” informed Avnish Tyagi, project manager of Shipra Srishti.
SEL had hired Knight Watch Security Private Limited about a year ago. However, six months back, discrepancies in the disbursement of salaries started appearing. “Delay in salary became a regular affair. Whenever we asked our employer about this, he put the blame on SEL for not releasing money. For the last two months, we have been working without being paid. Today, they (SEL) suddenly told us that our contract is over. How can we trust them? We won’t leave till we get our full payment,” alleged Kumar.
Meanwhile, the management claimed that their termination was not sudden. We had terminated their contract on May 2 and the guards were just serving the notice period (till May 31), claimed Tyagi. When questioned why the guards didn’t know about this, Tyagi claimed that their security agency kept them in dark. “Our contract is with the agency, not with the guards. We intimated them about our decision a month back. Now if the guards are unaware of this, then the agency is to be blamed,” Tyagi said.
The guards said that they had no clue about the termination of contract.
When City Spidey tried to verify Tyagi’s claims about the disbursement of full salary for the month of May and notice period, the officials of the agency remained incommunicado. Surprisingly, no one from the agency visited the society even after being informed about the incident.
When asked about the reason behind the termination, the management alleged irregularities. “A total of 45 guards are employed – 25 in the day shift and 20 in the night shift. But only 30-32 come on duty on any given day, which jeopardizes the premises’ security,” Tyagi alleged.
The residents also agreed to this. “For last few months, the number of guards working in the society keeps changing daily,” a resident commented on the request of anonymity.
Kumar while acknowledging the issue of irregularity blamed it on the delay in getting paid. “Till six months ago, every guard was reporting to work regularly. They started losing interest since the delay in releasing their salaries started. We live in hand-to-mouth situations. We have families to look after and can’t afford such delays,” he said.
Tyagi when asked whether the management had raised the matter to the officials of the security agency or demanded replacement of irregular guards did not answer.
A Repeat Offender?
SEL has been notorious for suddenly terminating the contracts of security agencies or causing delay in the payments of security guards. On May 1, the day when the world commemorates the contribution of labourers, SEL had fired more than 25 guards in Shipra Neo after they had protested for not being paid for more than two months. Incidentally, same security agency provides services in Shipra Neo and Shipra Srishti.
A similar case was reported from Shipra Krishna Vista a few months ago where again, the security guards had protested after not being paid.