Sheikh Imran Bashir
Agence India Press
Srinagar: The stand-off between the employees’ and state government prolonged further as the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC), a conglomeration of different employees unions in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh extended the pen-down strike call till August 8.
The JCC has asked the employees to assemble at Pratap Park, Lal Chowk, on August 8 and move to Civil Secretariat to press the government concede to their demands.
Addressing a Press Conference here, president Jammu and Kashmir Employees Joint Action Committee, which is a faction of JCC asked the employees to march to civil secretariat on Aug 8.
“On Aug, 7 and 8, pen down strike will continue and on Aug 8, the employees will march to Civil Secretariat to press the government concede to their demands,” Abdul Qayoom Wani said.
“We have asked all the employees to assemble at Pratap Park, Lal Chowk, on August 8 and move to Secretariat”, he said.
The President further said that “4.5 lakh employees, besides contract, daily-wagers, PSU and autonomous bodies employees will go on strike on August 7 and 8 in entire state in support of their demands including grant of 6th Pay Commission arrears,”
“Despite repeated assurances and agreements by the coalition government, nothing has been done to address the employees, demands”, he alleged.
Pertinently, the employees, under the banner of JCC are demanding, among other things, payment of sixth pay commission arrears, enhancement of retirement age from present 58 years to 60 years, regularization of daily wagers and contractual who have completed seven years in service and they re on strike from past two days which has disrupted work in government offices across the Kashmir. The government has already warned the employees.
Talking to the Agence India Press Correspondent, the EJAC (K) chairman and JCC leader, Muhammad Khursheed Alam, told that the employees would do whatever was possible under the trade union act adding that the strike was their democratic right.
Reacting to the government’s statement that the strike was ‘illegal’ as per the High Court direction, Alam said, “The High Court had asked the employees to end the strike and at the same time government had been asked to solve the problems of its employees. We honored the court order and called off strike, but the government failed to honor the court order.”
“During last year’s strike, the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, promised all the demands of employees would be met soon. More than a year has passed but nothing has been done on ground,” he told reporters.
Rejecting PHE Minister, Taj Mohi-ud-Din’s claims that government wasn’t in a position to pay arrears to its employees, Alam said, “How did the same government pay arrears to IAS/IPS officers? The government says it has no money to pay a peon his arrears which won’t be more than Rs one lakh. But commissioners / secretaries and other bureaucrats were paid more Rs 25 lakh as arrears. It’s injustice with poor employees.” (AIP)