KOLKATA: Stating that government employees are not factory workers, the TMC-led West Bengal Government has decided to revoke full trade union rights of the government staff.
While Left and Congress-backed trade unions are seeing red over the move, State Labour Minister Purnendu Bose has announced that he will stick to his stand.
“Government employees don’t have the right to be in trade unions and I am sticking to the prescribed regulations...They are not factory workers,” said Purnendu, who is awaiting the Cabinet nod. During the Left regime, government employees were often seen supporting strikes called by the trade unions.
As the relevant clause, which gives government employees this right, is to be dropped, the labour laws will be amended in the state.
According to state service regulations, government employees can’t be associated with trade unions, which are backed by political parties, but they can protest if they want to, Purnendu added.
“This is atrocious. When the country is preparing for a general strike on February 28, this statement on his (Purnendu Bose) part has definitely gladdened the hearts of multinationals, both domestic and foreign. He has acted not as a Labour Minister but as minister in-charge of corporate advancement. The right to strike is embodied in the Constitution of India and it is a part of the ILO convention. It can’t be taken back by any state government. I think the Chief Minister will not approve of the policy and if it happens, then all the trade unions will take it up,” said Gurudas Dasgupta, General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and a CPI parliamentarian.