Central Govt. employees on strike from today
About one million Central Government employees (except those in the Railways and Defence) began a 48-hour strike from midnight of February 11 to go on till February 13. The major demands of the strike organisers, the Confederation of CGEs and Workers, are:
a) Withdrawal of the new Contributory Pension Scheme and re-introduction of the Statutory defined Benefit Pension Scheme for all government employees.
b) Dispensing with the Contract/Casual System of employment in government service
c) Merger of DA with pay, Grant of Interim Relief and hold negotiations and settle the terms of reference for the seventh CPC.
K.K.N. Kutty, President, Confederation of CGE and Workers said, “Over the eight-year period, since the last wage revision, the prices of all essential commodities have soared by almost three times. Compared to the rate of inflation, the dearness compensation had been meagre. The erosion of the value of wages was phenomenal during this period. The government refused to revise wages even though it permitted such wage revision for PSU workers every five years. The fifth CPC was set up when the DA crossed over 50 per cent”.
Presently, the rate of DA has almost reached 100 per cent. Almost one third of the Central Government workforce is casual and contract workers. The government has shown scant regard to the existing labour laws in contravention of which the workers are employed. It is with this background that the demand for scrapping the Contract Labour System has been raised by the employees.
Kutty added, “If no settlement is brought about on these vital demands immediately, the Confederation will be constrained to intensify the agitation by calling upon the employees to organise an indefinite strike by the end of February 2014”.