JCC threatens indefinite strike
EJAC, CSNGEU Extend Lockout Call
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Apr 6: The Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), spearheading the ongoing employees’ agitation, Tuesday made it clear that invoking Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) won’t deter them from pursuing their ‘genuine’ demands. They appealed the people to dump ration for two months as strike might be extended indefinitely.
Addressing the media in the lawns of Srinagar Municipal Corporation office here, JCC leaders, Khursheed Alam and Abdul Qayoom Wani said; “Government should open its eyes and see the reality. No power on earth can deter us from pursuing our genuine demands.”
Alam alleged that government had cheated the employees. “ESMA is implemented at a place where demands of the employees aren’t genuine. But here government had accepted our demands in principle and on March 19, 2010 cabinet sub-committee sought 10-days times to fulfil our demands. But on April 3, the talks failed as government ditched us. They have made joke of ESMA,” he said.
Alam said the employees won’t budge from their demands and will go ahead with the scheduled agitation program. “I appeal the people to dump rations for two months as government is forcing us to intensify the strike. We will go on indefinite strike like we did in 2000 for 42-days,” he said.
Alam warned that if ESMA wasn’t revoked immediately, “then on April 10, during state level protests, we will announce indefinite strike.”
Wani also lashed out at the government terming invoking of ESMA as “frustration.”
“The unity of employees has frustrated the government. We won’t succumb to such tactics,” he said.
Asked by Greater Kashmir, how employees would justify their strike as it affects the common masses, Khursheed Alam said; “We have been pushed to the wall by the government. I know that the people might face some hardships. But I ask the government when they have money to hike the salaries of IAS, IPS officers and ministers, why don’t they give the poor employees their due.”
Alam said they had given an option to the government as how they could avoid the crisis. “If our demand of raising of retirement age would have been accepted, the government could have saved Rs 800 crore per year and that money could have been paid to the employees as first instalment of 6th pay commission arrears.”
He claimed that raising the retirement age won’t affect the prospects of the unemployed youth to get jobs. “Only 4000 employees retire in a year and out of that only 25 percent vacancies are filled. There are 70000 vacancies in the state, which haven’t been filled. Government is misleading the youth, by saying that raising the retirement age would block their chances of getting a job,” he added.
Meanwhile, the two other employees’ groups Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) and Civil Secretariat Non-Gazetted Employees Union extended the ongoing strike upto April 12 and 13 respectively.
Earlier EJAC had called for strike from April 3 to 6 while CSNGEU had given two-day strike call on April 5 and 6.
“We held coordination committee meeting of the union, last evening, wherein it was decided to extend the strike to April 12”, senior leader EJAC Muhammad Gafoor Dar told Greater Kashmir, over phone.
“It is for the third time that Jammu and Kashmir government has invoked ESMA against the employee”, he said adding, “First time it was invoked in 1992 when employees resorted to 43 day strike”.
Dar said that ESMA was also enforced in 2000 when Dr Farooq Abdullah was the chief minister and the strike of the employees continued for fourty-two days.
“While in 1992 the Ordinance was imposed after two weeks long agitation by the employees, in 2000 it was invoked after 17 days strike”, he said adding, “However, this time the government resorted invoking ESMA only within three days of the strike that too when the employees had given limited days strike call”.
Civil Secretariat Non Gazetted Employees Union has also extended the strike till April 13 and has asked the employees not to attend duties in civil secretariat.
CSNGEU President Nazir Ahmed Mir termed the imposition of ESMA as an unfortunate and uncalled for step. “This stringent measure would not be of any help to the government, which seems to be adamant to curb the genuine voice of the employees”, Mir said.
Holding the cabinet subcommittee responsible for the present situation, Mir alleged that the committee members have been trying to create differences between employees and government. “They mislead the Chief Minister and the young CM in anger invoked ESMO.”
“The chief minister should personally look into the demands of the employees. We gave enough time to the government to think over the demands, and when the time came for the fulfilment of the same, the coalition backtracked from its commitment,” he alleged saying that “It is not the matter of employees only, but lakhs of people are directly associated with them.”
The civil secretariat employee’s president threatened; “If the demands were not looked into seriously, and redressed, the agitation would be intensified with every passing day.”
Mir said the police was conducting frequent raids at the residents of the employees’ union leaders, since last evening. “The so called measures being taken by the government will only prove counter productive and will strengthen the employees across the state”, he said.
Meanwhile, J&K Rehbar-e-Taleem Teachers Forum has condemned the government action of invoking ESMA. “Instead of using dillydally tactics, government should pay employees their dues. Black laws won’t deter us from pursuing our genuine demands,” JKRTF publicity secretary said in a statement.
All J&K Revenue Employees Association has also condemned the “draconian” action of imposing ESMA by the Government.
The J&K Board of School Education Employees Association extended their support to the striking employees.
In north Kashmir’s Varmul district several employee leaders alleged that police raided n their houses in the night. They included Muhammad Rafiq, Nazir Ahmad Changal and Ishfaq Ahmad Shah.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 6 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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