The indefinite strike called by the Left employees’ and teachers’ organisations has got off to a strong start in the district, said a release issued by the convener of the protest committee in Kochi on Tuesday.

The release claimed that the strike demanding a rollback of the move to introduce contributory pension scheme and cull posts, strengthening of general education sector, and implementation of the pay reform recommendations was an overwhelming success in the district.

Out of the 180 employees in the District Collectorate, only 37 reported for work while at the Kanayannur taluk, 20-odd out of the 66 employees turned up. At the Revenue Divisional Office in Fort Kochi only one employee other than the RDO reported for duty, the release claimed. In Kochi taluk office, 20-odd out of the 60 turned up for duty while the functioning of Paravur taluk office came to a standstill.

In Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam, Aluva, and Kunnathunadu taluks, the striking employees accounted for 75 per cent, 82 per cent, 80 per cent, and 82 per cent respectively of the total workforce. The release further claimed that functioning of majority of village offices in the district came to a grinding halt. A verbal dual broke out between employees owing allegiance to the striking Left organisations and those belonging to the Congress-affiliated NGO Association at the civil station after the former took the protest to the individual offices that remained open. The situation was defused at the intervention of the police.

Meanwhile, service organisations affiliated to the ruling front countered the claims of their rivals that the strike was complete in the district. They claimed that the strike had failed to shut down the government machinery as majority of offices functioned.

Many offices at the civil station functioned though the staff strength was marginal.

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