Saligao: Distraught over non-payment of their increments, around 500 striking Drishti lifeguards in North Goa sought divine intervention on Monday when they offered prayers at Mapusa’s Bodgeshwar temple in the hope that their issues would be resolved. They also decided to submit a memorandum to chief minister Pramod Sawant urging him to address their demands.
A statement issued by Drishti Lifesaving claimed that salaries of all lifeguards had been cleared till September 30. “Increment arrears from July onwards were cleared for all lifeguards who did not stay away from work. Those who have stayed away have been requested to report to work immediately,” the statement added.
The agitating lifeguards, however, threatened to resign if they did not receive their payments on time. “The government should terminate its contract with Drishti if this imbroglio continues,” a lifeguard from among the gathering at Mapusa told TOI.
The issue began last week after around 70 lifeguards at a few North Goa beaches went on a flash strike on Thursday over delayed salary payments. Lifeguarding services were affected further the following day as most staff decided not to show up over claims that Drishti had reneged on its assurance to clear pending dues immediately. The company, however, maintained that lifeguards who were on duty had been paid and that the rest would be reimbursed a few days later. It also stated that lifeguards who had participated in Thursday’s strike would not be paid for eight working days.
On Saturday, Drishti’s CEO Ravi Shankar claimed that lifeguards who had stayed away from work had begun resuming duty.
Goa’s beaches are manned by around 700 lifeguards.