Monday, February 18, 2013

Various forms of protest action on two days Nationwide General strike on 20th and 21st February,2013.

Various forms of protest action on two days Nationwide General strike on 20th and 21st February,2013.

Joint Secretary (AT & Admn.)
Tel (011)2309 4276
Fax:(011)2309 2869


D.O. No. 33012/1(s)/2013-Estt-B
Dated the 15th February, 2013

Dear Sir/Madam,

The Joint Platform of Action of Government and Associate Services Employee's Organizations — All India Committee has given a notice that the affiliated organizations of JPA and the mass of employees working in Government services throughout the country will boycott work and resort to various forms of protest action on two days Nationwide General strike on 20th & 21 st February, 2013 in pursuance of their Charter of Demands.

2. The instructions issued by the Department of Personnel & Training prohibit the Government servants from participating in any form of strike including mass casual leave, go-slow etc. or any action that abet any form of strike in violation of Rule 7 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964. Besides, in accordance with the proviso to Rule 17 (1) of the Fundamental Rules, pay and allowances is not admissible to an employee for his absence from duty without any authority. As to the concomitant rights of an Association after it is formed, they cannot be different from the rights which can be claimed by the individual members of which the Association is composed. It follows that the right to form an Association does not include any guaranteed right to strike. There is no statutory provision empowering the employees to go on strike. The Supreme Court has also agreed in several judgments that going on a strike is a grave misconduct under the Conduct Rules and that misconduct by the Government employees is required to be dealt with in accordance with the law. Any employee going on strike in any form would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action. In this connection, your kind attention is also drawn to this Department's OM No. 33012/1(s)/2008-Estt (B) (pt) dated 12th September, 2008 (copy enclosed)

3. A Joint Consultative Machinery for Central Government employees' is already functioning. This scheme has been introduced with the object of promoting harmonious relations and of securing the greatest measure of co-operation between the Government, in its capacity as employer, and the general body of its employees in matters of common concern, and with the object, further of increasing the efficiency of the public service. The JCM at the different levels have been discussing issues brought before it for consideration and either reaching amicable settlement or referring the matter to the Board of Arbitration in relation to pay and allowances, weekly hours of work and leave, whenever no amicable settlement could be reached in relation to these items.

4. The Central Government Employees under your Ministry/Departments may, therefore, be suitably informed of the aforesaid instructions under the Conduct Rules issued by this Department and other regulations upheld by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and dissuaded from resorting to strike in any form. You may also issue instructions not to sanction Casual Leave or other kind of leave to employees if
applied for, during the period of the proposed strike and ensure that the willing employees are allowed hindrance free entry into the office premises. For this purpose, Joint secretary (Admn) may be entrusted with the task of coordinating with security personnel. Suitable contingency plan may also be worked out to carry out the various functions of the Ministry/Department.

5. In case the employees go on strike, a report indicating the number of employees who took part in the proposed strike may be conveyed to this Department on the evening of the day.
With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,
(Manoj Joshi)


General Strike All India on February 20–21, 2013

General Strike All India on February 20–21, 2013

The workers of the country are all set for the two days’ General Strike on February 20–21, 2013 called by the 11 Central Trade Unions for the first time after independence.

This is the fifteenth joint countrywide General Strike after the inception of the neoliberal policies. The strike has been called jointly by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh (BMS), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and other trade unions.

The independent federations of workers and employees too have joined the protest. More than 10 crores of workers are expected to participate in the General Strike.

The major demands raised by the trade unions in this strike are:

Price Rise

The trade unions have demanded concrete measures to arrest the spiralling prices, universalisation of the public distribution system and a complete ban on speculation and futures trading in the commodity market. They have categorically and unambiguously rejected the spurious arguments put forth by the government that prices were going up because of the increase in the Minimum Support Price to farmers and because people were consuming more.

In stead of taking effective measures to curtail price rise, the government has been taking policy measures that fuel price rise like deregulation of petrol and partial deregulation of diesel prices, electricity tariffs, reduction in fertiliser subsidy, reduction of subsidised cooking gas cylinders etc. It is taking measures that endanger food security.

Minimum Wages

Another important demand raised by the trade unions is the amendment to the Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage by the Minimum Wages Act, irrespective of the schedules as per the recommendation of the 44th session of Indian Labour Conference and fixing of the statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs 10,000 per month.

Under the neoliberal regime, the share of wages in net value added has registered a sharp decline from 30% in late eighties to a mere 9.5% in 2009 while the share of profits has increased from 15% to 55% during the same period. Many sectors are not covered under the Minimum Wages Act. In addition, the Government of India and several state governments are resorting to the dubious method of employing millions of workers, large number of them women, calling them ‘social workers’, ‘activists’, ‘volunteers’, ‘friends’, ‘guests’ etc in the various ‘schemes’/ ‘programmes’ being implemented through their departments, just to deny them minimum wages and other benefits.

Universal social security for the unorganised sector workers

94% of the workforce in our country in the unorganised sector does not have any social security despite contributing more than 60% of the country’s GDP.

Most of the schemes made applicable to the unorganised workers under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008 are meant only for BPL category excluding majority of the unorganised sector workers due to the ridiculous income criteria fixed by the Planning Commission. No measures have been taken to ensure universal coverage of the Act and to guarantee floor level social security benefits within a specific time frame. The ‘Swavalamban’ scheme, is nothing but a crude attempt to utilise the hard earned money of the unorganised workers to boost up the share market and the profits of the foreign financial companies.

Against disinvestment

The central trade unions have strongly countered the government’s arguments in support of disinvestment – of expanding people’s ownership, mobilising resources for modernisation and for social sector expenditure as fraudulent. Disinvestment leads to cornering of public wealth by private corporates including multinational corporations, and private mutual funds.

Today, the PSUs have huge reserves and surpluses and are all carrying on their modernisation projects with their own resources besides contributing huge amounts to the exchequer by way of dividends and taxes.

The argument of mobilising resources for social security expenditure only indicates the government’s intention to abandon its responsibility to provide social security to its citizens. Disinvestment is nothing but an attempt to hand over huge national assets and natural resources to private corporates.


Employment protection is one of the major demands of the general strike. The huge tax concessions worth more than Rs 5 lakh crores to the corporates and the big business on an average every year during the last more than 5 years, have helped these corporates to tide over their crisis but have not resulted in employment generation.

According to the National Sample Survey (66th round) data, the annual rate of employment growth decelerated from 2.7% in 2000–05 to 0.8% in 2005-10. Growth of non-agricultural employment declined from 4.65% to 2.53% during the same period despite the high GDP growth of above 8%.

FDI in retail, displacement of lakhs of tribals, fishers and peasants from their land in the name of development are compounding the problem of unemployment.

Effective implementation of labour laws, equal wages and benefits to contract workers and stopping rampant contractorisation, pension for all etc are the other demands raised by the trade unions in this strike, which has evoked massive response from all sections of workers in the country.

Prime Minister's Appeal to Central Trade Unions

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Prime Minister's Office

17-February-2013 21:27 IST

Prime Minister's Appeal to Central Trade Unions

I appeal to the Central Trade Unions to withdraw their call for a countrywide General Strike on 20 and 21 February, 2013. Such a strike would lead to avoidable loss to our economy and inconvenience to the public through disruption of services.

While some of the issues raised by the Trade Unions are already being acted upon and others are at various stages of consideration, I have requested my senior Cabinet colleagues Shri A K Antony, Shri Sharad Pawar, Shri P Chidambaram and Shri Mallikarjun Kharge to together hold discussions with the leaders of the Trade Unions. I am confident that these discussions would result in a course of action that is acceptable both to the Trade Unions and the Government.

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