Employees-Government Tussle

Suspense over enhancement of retirement age keeps the pot boiling

Big Bite

JAVAID MALIK

Employees are at loggerheads with the government again. They have been organizing protests and sit-ins to press for what they are term as their “genuine demands”. Most employees who were a part of the agitation to get the retirement age increased by two years, including prominent trade union leader Khurshid Alam, have retired during the course of time.
In the recent past news stories about employees facing batons and water cannons have hogged the headlines on many occasions. The Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) spearheading the campaign for “employees’ rights” has been announcing various programmes to ensure that protests continue.
Government not paying much heed towards these frequent protest and strike calls has put the JCC, an amalgam of various employees unions, in a tight spot. They seem to be running short of ideas about how to attract the attention of those who are in power. 
State is ready to witness another phase of employees’ agitation from September 9 onwards. The JCC has threatened that employees would go on an indefinite strike if government fails to meet its demands this time.
One can understand that the casual and other low paid employees are facing immense problems due to government not having any “clear policy” for them, but the permanent employees who take huge salaries as such don’t have any such problems. After the implementation of sixth pay commission recommendations in Jammu and Kashmir salaries of employees have increased manifolds and wages are no issue. At present the agitation seems to be focused on getting retirement age enhanced. Present dispensation maintaining silence over the issue is giving sleepless nights to the employees who are due to retire in coming days. Many people believe that retirement age would be enhanced by one year in 2014 which is the election year.
No one is questioning the right of employees to stage protest and go on strikes, but what hurts the common man is that by doing so how much loss do they cause to the state exchequer? If they really are sincere they should donate the salaries of the days they go on strikes towards the welfare of the down trodden people or even the casual labourers who despite working hard are unable to manage two square meals in a day. That will be a novel way of protest.
Government spends whopping amounts to clear the salary bills of the employees every month, but someone needs to ask them do they do justice with the salary they get? There are no parameters fixed to know about the output of the government employees. Lack of accountability has made the employees complacent and they know it very well that they would get their salaries irrespective of whether they work or not.
Government employees  need to realize that they are public servants and their salaries are drawn after imposing huge taxes on common people. Demands are fine but that doesn’t mean that they would take the entire state as hostage. People at the helm need to realize that confrontation is no solution. Government needs to devise a mechanism to ensure that it addresses the genuine demands of its employees. Acting as a mute spectator and men in uniform being given the charge to handle employees is not going to help anyone’s cause.

(Feedback malikjavaid123@gmail.com)

Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST




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