Tuesday, September 6, 2011

3 day strike by Employees

Normal work in government offices was paralysed across the state as over four lakh government employees began three-day pen down strike.

Five employees leaders were arrested at Nowhatta when they were (taking stock of their strike in offices) evaluating the success of their strike by visiting different offices.

While in Jammu region too, the employees preferred to abstain from the work and staged demonstrations at various offices.
The state wide strike has been called by Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), an amalgam of various employees’ organizations.
Among other demands, the employees have been demanding release of 6th Pay Commission arrears in two installments. 
The essential services including emergency services in hospitals and examinations had been exempted from the strike. 
Khursheed Alam, leader of the government employees, said there was cent percent response to the strike call in all three regions, claiming that no employee turned up for work.

“There was a total response to the strike called by the JCC,” said Alam, who also heads a faction of employees union, EJAC (K).

He said that five employees leaders were arrested and condemned the government action as unwarranted.
“We were hopeful that the government would resolve issues facing the employees amicably as was evident during second round of talks with the chief secretary yesterday. However, the arrest of the employees is in total contravention to the atmosphere created during the meeting,” Khurshid said, adding, “The employees will not bow down under any coercion or power propelled measures.”

He reiterated that there would be complete pen down strike tomorrow as well. He hoped that “Srinagar (Secretariat) chalo” call on September 8 too would be a success. 

The JCC demands release of arrears in two installments at par with the central government employees and rejects the roadmap by the state government which offers to release the payments in several installments.

The apex body of employees also demands that the government should declare the clear-cut policy for regularization of daily rated workers who have completed 7-years of service after 1994. It also demands orders of regularization in favour of adhoc and contractual employees and enhancement of retirement age from present 58 to 60 years, removal of pay anomalies in different cadres.

Besides it demands that the government should settle the grievances of public sector employees, Rehbar-e-Taleem, Anganwari workers, regularization of promotion of difference cadres and also implement DA order in favour of PSU employees.      
So far government held two rounds of talks with the JCC but it failed to break the ice.

Apart from this, Cabinet-Sub Committee with Minister for Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather in chair, discussed various issues pertaining to the employees’ demands. 

JAMMU: In Jammu province also, the first day of the three day call of “Kaam Chodo Hartal”, given by the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), evoked an overwhelming response today as the work in almost all government offices remained paralyzed. The employees preferred to abstain from the work and staged demonstrations at various offices in the Jammu region.
As a result the government offices generally wore a deserted look.  Some offices, however, observed thin attendance.
In Jammu city, the main protest demonstration was held at GGM Science College, where a large number of employees staged protest in support of their long pending demands which have already been agreed upon by the government yet not implemented. The employees were raising slogans against the government for its delaying tactics and breach of the agreement. 

Apart from Science College, protest demonstrations were also held at Agriculture complex, Irrigation complex, Municipality complex, DC office. The nursing staff in the SMGS Hospital Shalamar and clerical staff in the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMC&H) also supported the call given by the JCC. However, the essential services like the health, power and water were exempted from the strike in larger interest of the public.

Senior JCC leader Ram Kumar Sharma maintained that the response of the employees to the call given by JCC was encouraging from Udhampur, Reasi, Kathua, Samba, Ramban, Kalakote, Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar.

While talking to `Kashmir Times’, Sharma told, “We had a meeting with the Finance Minister AR Rather on September 3 in Srinagar. In the meeting, Rather admitted that there were some discrepancies in the road map given by the government and he asked us to air our view point on our issues. Minister’s response was - We want to resolve issues of the employees but it takes time. I can not take decision on my own. The decision is to be taken by the cabinet sub committee.” Sharma further told that the meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere but without any decision on the demands of the employees.

Senior JCC leader, however maintained that the Finance Minister had assured them that very soon he would call a meeting of the cabinet sub committee and the representatives of the employees would be invited. The JCC’s call was also supported by Lecturers’ Forum, SFC and some other organizations. The senior JCC leaders also stated that those who were opposing the strike at the behest of some agencies had now become quiet.

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