THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Secretariat Action Council has said that 1,400 employees had taken part in the day-long token strike braving dies-non ('no work, no pay') and transfers.
The token strike was staged by the Kerala Secretariat Association, Kerala Finance Secretariat Association, Kerala Law Secretariat Association and Kerala Legislature Secretariat Employees Organisation.
The protest by the pro-Opposition state employee unions was partial and was against the inordinate delay in the non-payment of dearness allowance dues and seeking better service conditions.
The protest by the pro-Congress Kerala Secretariat Association prevented employees from entering the Secretariat premises, which saw an intervention by the rival CPM-led Kerala Secretariat Employees Association. This led to sloganeering from both sides.
The police had to intervene where they formed a human shield between the two service organisation groups.
M S Ershad, president of KSA, said that 1,400 employees took part in the token strike and that it was a huge success.
“The ruling service organisation panicked seeing the success of the protest which led them to unleash anarchy. The CPM-affiliated KSEA intimidated the employees to ensure that a high attendance rate was achieved. But we were not cowed down by their pressure. The support of employee has been huge,” said Ershad.
The BJP-led service organisation employees have also boycotted work at the Secretariat, village, municipal and revenue offices.
The protesters’ demands include the disbursement of pay revision dues, reinstatement of the statutory pension system, reinstatement of leave surrender and rectification of anomalies of the government-funded medical insurance scheme (Medisep) for state employees.
The state government had warned that the striking employees would lose their salaries on the days as their unauthorised absence will be treated as dies-non. KSA office-bearers alleged that the LDF government has used their administrative clout to oppose the strike.
M A Ajith Kumar, general convener, Action Council of State Employees and Teachers, refuted the claims of the KSA.
“We have decided to support the LDF government’s policies and to oppose the Centre’s anti-people-friendly policies,” said Ajith Kumar.
Total employees in Secretariat: 5,060
Present employees in Secretariat: 3,683 (2,882 general administration dept + 574 finance + 227 law department employees)
Percentage of present employees: 73%