Govt, staff unions to face off after ESMA : The Tribune India

Govt, staff unions to face off after ESMA

CHANDIGARH: Employees’ unions and the state government are set for a face-off as the Haryana Roadways Workers Joint Action Committee and Multi-purpose Health Workers (MPHW) Union are on agitation mode and the government has invoked Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to prevent their strike.



Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 31

Employees’ unions and the state government are set for a face-off as the Haryana Roadways Workers Joint Action Committee and Multi-purpose Health Workers (MPHW) Union are on agitation mode and the government has invoked Haryana Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) to prevent their strike.

Roadways workers have threatened a “chakka jam” on September 5 while the MPHW Union has stated that their members will tonsure their heads in protest against the government’s ‘stubborn’ attitude towards their demands. The strike by MPHWs entered the fifth day on Friday.

The government had invoked provisions of ESMA for six months citing the possibility of spread of vector-borne diseases and threatened to initiate action in case they did not end their strike.

The MPHW Union had been demanding that their jobs be declared as technical posts and their salaries be hiked, the services of contractual women MPHWs be regularised after two years of service, equal pay be given for equal work and uniform allowance be paid.

“In case the state government does not accept our demands by September 5, all 8,000-odd striking MPHWs will get their heads shaved in protest,” said a spokesperson of the union.

Balwan Singh, general secretary of the Haryana Roadways Workers Joint Action Committee, alleged that roadways unions were being forced to go in for complete strike on September 5 due to the ‘stubborn’ attitude of the state government.

“We were invited to a meeting with Transport Minister Krishan Panwar and senior officers of the department earlier this week, but their attitude was inflexible as ever,” he alleged. He said roadways workers were left with no option but a “chakka jam” on September 5.

Roadways workers had been opposing hiring of 700 private buses and demanding addition of new buses to the Haryana Roadways fleet and regularisation of services of contractual employees.

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