Staff Reporter

State Government employees, including teachers, to participate

  • New pension scheme to be examined
  • Selling away of PSUs deplored

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Eight million employees and teachers working under State Governments in the country would participate in the December 14 general strike opposing the economic policies of the UPA Government and also seeking the withdrawal of the new contributory pension scheme and filling vacant posts and demanding a right to strike.

    R. Muthusundaram, All India State Government Employees Federation additional general secretary and P. Subbarayan, general secretary of APNGOs' Association, told reporters here on Monday that the strike was not for any immediate benefit but to oppose the anti-labour and anti-employee policies also impinging upon the lives of common people of the country.

    Mr. Muthusundaram said though the new pension scheme was made applicable to those who had joined employment in 2004, in the terms of reference of the Sixth Pay Commission, it was stated that pension and other retirement benefits of employees appointed prior to 2004 also would be examined. Alleging that it would affect all employees, he said the contributory pension scheme was meant to divert huge amounts to private fund managers to enable them invest in the speculative stock market. He expressed the apprehension that in such a scenario guaranteed quantum of pension would be denied to employees. Referring to the Supreme Court ruling that employees could not go on strike, he said employees lacked alternative means to highlight their grievances. Strike was an inalienable right of employees and the government should confer the right on them, he said. In West Bengal, though the State Government had conferred the right to strike, employees did not strike work in the last 28 years as alternative mechanisms were provided, he said.

    Strike in AP

    The employee leader also assailed the government for not filling posts and resorting to contract employment and outsourcing of services even as five crore registered unemployed were languishing without jobs.

    Mr. Subbarayan said the Joint Action Committee and the Struggle Committee had served the notice for the December 14 strike and called upon employees to participate. He said the UPA Government and the State Government had promised to resolve employees' problems before elections but backtracked now.He also wanted leaders of political parties to prevent attacks on employees. M. Janardhan Reddy, Chairman of Andhra Pradesh Public Sector Employees Federation, has deplored governments selling away PSUs instead of strengthening them. State vice-president K. Raja Rao and district secretary M.V.V.S. Vara Prasada Rao were present.