THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A token strike in the City Corporation by the Kerala Municipal and Corporation Staff Union (KMCSU) brought the functioning of the local body to a near stop on Thursday. The functioning of the Janasevana Kendram also was affected.
It is as a continuation of the agitation held by the pro-Left unions in the Corporation with regard to mass transfer when the UDF came to power and also demanding the formation of a Common Service in LSG that the token agitation was carried out. The KMCSU members took out a march to the Secretariat on Thursday morning.
The leaders said that despite serving an agitation notice to the Government almost a month back, the Minister did not call them for talks. They warned that the Corporation employees would move to indefinite strike if their grievances are not addressed. According to K Jayadevan, general secretary of KMCSU, it is the trifurcation of the Local Self-Government (LSG) Department that is hindering the formation of the Common Service. Had it come into being, the employees in the panchayat, rural development and municipal common service could have been brought under a single umbrella.
As of now, only the Engineering wing of LSG belongs to the Department. The engineers are paid by the government and they could move to three-tier panchayat level or Corporations. The rest of the employees are paid their salaries by the local bodies concerned and cannot hop between the three-tier local bodies. Since many panchayats are in financial crunch, the employees are living a nightmare.
A press statement issued here by the Union further added that the mass transfer of Corporation employees without considering their merit has affected the working of the local body. Ever since the new Government came to power, the Union had put forward its demands, which have not been addressed so far.
The press note said that the token agitation was carried out in five Corporations and 60 municipalities. The cleaning workers and Corporation drivers also participated in the agitation everywhere, it said.