Another meeting to avert strike

CHENNAI, JAN. 31. As no agreement could be reached in the last round of discussions with representatives of government employees and teachers, the Government is contemplating holding another meeting at the highest level to avert the strike planned for February 7.

The Finance Secretary, R. Santhanam, has already briefed the Chief Minister, O. Paneerselvam, of his discussions with the leaders of the government servants. A decision on a fresh round would now be taken in two or three days.

While there is no change in the government stand that no fresh concessions are possible, the talks will be conducted with an ``open mind''. Officials say the Government had already done what it could, softening the blow on the employees. The perks compare favourably with those given in other States.

In the absence of an agreement during talks with Mr. Santhanam, the next round would be at the ministerial level.

While the Government is hesitant to reveal the negotiable points, an effort will be made to hammer out a ``face-saving'' formula.

Though the leaders of government employees' associations had appreciated the financial difficulties of the Government, they insisted on some additional measures to enable them to convince the members.

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