All India Strike Feb 2013 : Government adopts ‘Carrot and Stick’ approach on tow day strike call by Trade Unions
Govt adopts ‘carrot and stick’ approach on 2-day strike call by TUs
NEW DELHI, FEB 18 : Even as several trade unions, including the Congress-backed INTUC, gear up for the two-day general strike on February 20-21, the Government seems to have adopted a ‘carrot and stick’ approach.
While four Cabinet Ministers are slated to meet trade union leaders at 8 p.m. on Monday night to discuss their concerns, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is reported to have written to the secretaries of all Central Government Ministries not to sanction any kind of leave to employees during the strike period, threatening firm action including deduction in wages.
“Any employee going on strike in any form would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action,’’ according to a DoPT statement.
The talks with TUs are being held after the Prime Minister appealed for calling off the two-day strike on Sunday night and even deputed four senior Ministers — Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Labour Minister M. Kharge — to hold talks with unions.
However, trade unions were firm on their decision and said the strike would cover, banking, insurance, telecom, teaching, mining, ports, transport etc. and have planned rallies, demonstrations, dharnas, rasta rokos and rail rokos across the country. Flagship scheme workers will also join the strike, they said.
The major industrial centres that are likely to be affected are Gurgaon, Manesar, Faridabad and Ghaziabad in NCR-Delhi and Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu among others, the unions claimed.
“Even after 14 one-day strikes and innumerable sectoral strikes, the Government has not found it necessary to talk to the unions or listen to their demands, but wants to speed up the reforms with a declaration “to fight even if they go down,” said A.K. Padmanabhan, President, Centre of Indian Trade Unions.
“Since 2009, we have been protesting against growing price rise, PSU disinvestment, violation of labour laws etc. but this Government does not seem to care about workers,’’ Padmanabhan told Business Line.
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