THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The one-day strike called by a section of Secretariat employees on Thursday against the government’s decision to introduce the Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) from January 1 had a mixed response. However, leaders of the pro-Congress employees’ associations under the joint platform of Kerala Secretariat Action Council, which called for the strike, claimed that 88 per cent of the employees had joined the strike.
Action council convener J Benzy and Kerala Secretariat Association general secretary T Sreekuamr said the strike was an overwhelming success as a majority of the employees did not attend duty.
“Employees belonging to the pro-Left Kerala Secretariat Employees Association (KSEA) have also joined the strike as the government’s decision to introduce KAS would be affecting all employees. The chief minister had earlier stated only 10 per cent of the promotion posts would be earmarked for KAS. But now everybody is convinced that more than half of the promotion opportunities would be lost,” Benzy told Express.
Benzy pointed out that 50 per cent of the promotion posts from the level of deputy and joint secretary and over 80 per cent of the additional/special secretary posts would be lost once KAS is introduced.
However, KSEA general secretary Bijukuttan said the strike was a total failure as most of the employees had rejected the strike call. He claimed that more than 90 per cent of the employees were present in every department. He added that promotion opportunities for secretariat employees would be affected only after 16 years.
“As of now, at the under secretary level, only 10 per cent of the posts would be lost. As the government has taken a decision, we will have to follow it. Our association will not work against the government as it has always been supportive of the employees,” he said.
When Express contacted the General Administration Department to get the exact attendance on Thursday, the officials coordinating the attendance said that as the government had not declared dies non against the striking employees, they did not take the attendance.
Though the strike had not seriously affected the functioning of the secretariat, employees who owe allegiance to the pro-CPM KSEA revealed on condition of anonymity that there was simmering anger among the employees and it would affect their work in the coming days.