New Delhi, June 29: Not everyone is happy with the Central government approving the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations. As per latest reports, 33,000 South Western Railway employees will go on an indefinite strike staring July 11. The National Joint Council for Action (NJCA) announced the strike in Karnataka on Tuesday, to pressure the government into fulfilling their demands.
Speaking to the media, A.M. D’Cruz, zonal general secretary and convenor of NJCA said that after trying to voice their concerns, the Union government disregarded their demands and as a last resort, the trade union had decided to call for a strike. D’Cruz also accused the Union government of trying to use coercive methods such a filing cases against the employees to prevent them from participating in the strike, The Hindu reported. “We are ready to be jailed,” he said.
“Two of the most significant issues that have triggered the strike are the inordinate delay in taking decisions on the Pay Commission recommendations and refusal of the government to bring back the old statutory defined benefit scheme of pension to all employees in place of the contributory pension scheme. The government has not shown any interest in addressing our demands that include filling vacant posts, no foreign direct investment in railways and no privatization. They have opposed the labour law amendments. Another demand is to grant one rank, one pension to railway employees,” D’Cruz was quoted by the Times of India.
Having waited three months for the Union government, following assurance by the Cabinet Secretary, their demands were not met. Seeking a reconsideration of the commission, the NJCA has asked for a hike of 26 per cent instead of the present 23.5 per cent. This would also mean a minimum wage of Rs 26,000 as compared to the recommended and approved Rs 18,000.
The NJCA had submitted a charter of 36 demands which include restoring the old pension scheme and doing away with the National Pension scheme, preventing the Labour laws from being amended, and filling vacancies.