People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXVIII

No. 23

June 06, 2004

AISGEF Writes To PM On Right To Strike

 

Following is the letter addressed to the prime minister Manmohan Singh by the All India State Government Employees Federation (AISGEF) general secretary Sukomal Sen on May 28, 2004 regarding the right to strike and other issues. A copy of this letter has been sent to the union finance minister P Chidambaram.

 

AT the outset, we convey our heartiest greetings and best wishes to you and to your government, which has come into being rousing high expectations from the common people the workers, employees and other toiling masses.

We would like to submit the following for your immediate and sympathetic consideration:

(1) You are surely aware that in the wake of the infamous ruling of the Supreme Court denying the government employees Right to Strike the entire community of government employees, other sections  of employees and the working class of the country launched a protest strike, the biggest ever strike at national level on February 24, 2004 demanding Right to Strike.

It may be recalled that the Govt. of India is a founder member of ILO. But the government has not yet ratified ILO Conventions 87, 98, and 151 which guarantee full trade union and democratic rights to the working class and also the government employees. The Conventions 151 and 154 which are particularly meant for the government employees, require immediate ratification. In many European countries, including UK, these Conventions have been ratified and the government employees enjoy full democratic and trade union rights including the Right to Strike.

 

We strongly feel that non-ratification of these Conventions is a flagrant violation of the core Labour Standards of ILO by the Govt. of India.

 

The government employees and the entire working class are highly agitated over it.

 

We therefore earnestly request you that you may kindly take necessary steps to set right the injustice and accord Right to Strike to the government employees by ratifying the relevant ILO Conventions and if necessary by a parliamentary legislation, whichever is deemed convenient. 

 

(2) I may also draw your kind attention to the fact that following the appointment of 5th Central Pay Commission and the implementation of many of its recommendations by the central government, many state governments as well as the state government employees, teachers and other allied employees represented by the AISGEF repeatedly urged the Govt. of India to grant at least 50 per cent of the monetary liabilities of the states for implementation of the same recommendations for the state government employees, teachers and allied employees. But as yet the Govt. of India has not met that demand.

 

We may mention that overwhelming majority of the state governments are not in a position to financially meet and fulfill the genuine demands of the state employees. As a result, in most states, D A instalments are in heavy arrears and other economic benefits are cut down.

 

Before the Lok Sabha elections the central government ordered to merge 50 per cent of the DA with the basic pay of the central employees with consequent benefits. But except for two or three state governments, other state governments have been unable to meet this demand. But the employees are seriously agitated over it.

 

We therefore request that the Govt. of India may take immediate action to meet 50 per cent of the financial requirements on account of the above benefits to the state governments.

 

(3) There is also always a question repeatedly raised and that is the lack of financial resources of the central government.

 

We would like to mention that the Govt. of India should explore two big untapped sources for mopping up resources.

 

The first one is the staggering amount of black money operating in the country. Why should not the Govt. of India take adequate steps to mop up this colossal amount of black money to meet the resource crunch.

 

The second one is  - the huge amount of non performing assets (NPAs) of the public sector banks which the big industrial tycoons of the country are not repaying. The question naturally arises that the Govt. of India should take immediate steps to realise the NPAs from the financial shirks who are avoiding it. With these two measures, the Govt. of India can mop up huge amount of resources.

 

We earnestly hope, that the new Govt. of India would look into these aspects and take necessary action for its immediate implementation.