Government claims 74.31% attendance

Violent incidents at several places marked day four of the indefinite strike by pro-LDF (Left Democratic Front) State employees and teachers on Friday.

There were reports of intimidation of employees and teachers reporting for duty from across the State and of several instances of the striking employees and their supporters resorting to violence, causing damage to public property in some places. Even as the patience of the striking employees appeared to be wearing off, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told reporters that there would be no further talks with the employees’ unions spearheading the agitation.

Although the unions claimed that the strike continued to cripple the functioning of government offices and educational institutions, the government put out figures showing that attendance in its offices had risen to 74.31 per cent, marking a further 2.31 per cent increase over the attendance on Thursday. According to the government, the attendance at the State Secretariat on Friday was as high as 74.63 per cent.

Disciplinary action

The government also began initiating disciplinary action against the striking employees, especially those indulging in violence. Among those suspended on Friday were S. Prasannan, deputy labour officer, and Baby Castro, district labour officer, Kannur. The executive director, IT@School project, reverted many as 34 district coordinators and master trainers to their parents schools for unauthorised absence. Several other department heads also began initiating disciplinary action against those abstaining from work.

Chandy blamed

The striking employees took out marches in all districts. In Thiruvananthapuram, they were addressed by Communist Party of India (Marxist) Central committee member E.P. Jayarajan and Communist Party of India State assistant secretary K. Prakash Babu.

The CPI(M)-led Action Council of State Employees and Teachers and the CPI-led Action Council of Teachers and Service Organisations attributed the delay in bringing the stir to an end to what they termed the stubborn stand taken by the Chief Minister. They called upon the Chief Minister to give up his stubbornness and be ready for talks with the employees.

  • Chief Minister rules out further talks with strikers

  • Striking employees take out marches in all districts