Over the issue of non-payment of salaries, lifeguards deployed along North Goa coastal belt on Thursday went on strike and demanded release of their salaries at the earliest. They further threatened to continue their agitation until the issue is resolved.
Over 60-70 lifeguards gathered at the Calangute beach to protest against their company on Thursday. The lifeguards accused the company officials of delaying payment of their salaries and harassing them.
An upset lifeguard Gaurish Kamat said, “We are facing hardships due to non-payment of salaries for the past few months. When we enquire an advance payment is given but this does not solve our purpose”.
Another lifeguard said, “We have taken loans for which we have to repay installments but in the absence of our regular salaries how are we supposed to pay? Banks are imposing a penalty too.”
Currently the coastal belt is managed by around 80-90 lifeguards who are deployed along Baga to Sinquerim stretch. While around 190 lifeguards are deployed on North Goa beaches. The lifeguards also accused the company for not providing them with basic facilities such as refreshments which was given earlier. Even drinking water is brought from their homes respectively.
A lifeguard expressed displeasure over the recruitment and said that whether one has experience or has just joined are both paid the same salary. He said, today (Thursday) we got a message that salary will be deposited into our respective accounts following announcement of the strike. The company has also told us that those willing to work can continue and those who don’t want to can leave the lifeguard tower.