The indefinite strike launched by Manipur government employees

The indefinite strike launched by Manipur government employees, demanding higher salaries, has crippled the functioning of the state administration for the past five days, officials said Wednesday.JACEO secretary general Ch. Chandramani Singh told reporters Wednesday: “There is no question of withdrawing the agitation. We shall even intensify our stir until the state government met our demand.”

Reacting to the Chief Minister, O Ibobi’s press conference yesterday, the JAC of the All Manipur Trade Union Council (AMTUC) and All Manipur Govt. Employees Organisation (AMGEO), charged the chief minister of polarizing the people of the state between government employees, pensioners, workers and the rest of the population.

The JAC, in a press note, said if the CM backs his contention that the state government does not have money to pay arrears to please the 60,000 odd employees with documents and bring it in the public domain, the JAC would welcome it.

Else the JAC would consider the chief minister’s contention as an attempt to mislead the people.

On the issue of the general public facing the brunt of the burden as a result of payment of salaries to the government employees, the JAC contended the two are not at all related.

On the other hand, asked the press note, why is the chief minister not trying to save the amount allocated by the planning commission, is there any other state in the country which had returned its allocated amount because of inability to spend it.

How much benefit will the state derive if it forfeits the rightful arrears of the employees and how much progress will it bring to the state, asked the JAC.

Stating that if the state is going to progress by nonpayment of the rightful share of DA/DR of the employees the JAC would not ask for any increased pay and pension.

The officers of the Manipur Judicial Service have been entitled 54% DA from July 1, 2008, 68% DA from January 1,2009 and 73% DA from July 1, 2009 whereas the longstanding demands of the JAC have been ignored.

Why is the DA/DR which was supposed to have been paid out during the time of the 12 Finance Commission award not been paid even though adequate funds were allotted for it, questioned the JAC.

Asserting that the chief minister’s information as to the implementation of 6th pay commission in the north eastern states in not upto date, the JAC revealed there is no state in the north east which has not implemented the 6th pay and among them Manipur will be last one to do so.

The reason for this to the JAC is obvious and asked which other state in the country has tried rob the benefits of the 6th pay of those employees who are going to retire in 1/2 months time.

On its demand for increasing the service age to 60 years, the JAC stated that it is the norm all over the country and the government should not link it with the unemployment problem of the state.

The JAC had been demanding the lifting of ban on recruitment and setting up of a ’Task Force’ to find ways to give employment to the youth of the state.

In the end, the press note stated that if the 13th Finance Commission award the proposed amount required to pay the arrears, the reason for that would be the nonpayment of the rightful DA/DR and other benefits entitled to the employees.

For this the state government is solely responsible.

In the end, the JAC of the AMTUC and AMGEO reiterated its resolve to continue with the cease work strike until its demands are made and sought the cooperation of all the employees in making it a success.

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