Kozhikode: In protest against the state government’s firm decision to implement the contributory pension scheme, Pro-LDF and pro-BJP state employees and teachers in the state began an indefinite strike from Monday midnight.
The pro-CPM Action Council of State Employees and Teachers, the pro- CPI Teacher’s Service Organisation’s Action Council, the pro-BJP Federation of Employees and Teacher’s Organisations (FETO), spearheading the agitation, are demanding withdrawal of the government decision to introduce the Participatory Pension scheme to those who join government service from April 1, 2013.
In solidarity with their state service counterparts, Pro-LDF employees of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) too have decided to go on a one-day strike on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Ommen Chandy on Monday said that the decision of the unions could be seen only as a "politically motivated" move as the government had allayed their apprehensions by convening two rounds of talks.
At the conciliatory talks last week, Ommen Chandy made it clear that the PPS would not in any way affect the salary or pension of the existing staff, it failed to make any breakthrough on the stand of pro-left service organisations.
On the apprehension raised by employees on the suggestions of the Public Expenditure Committee recommendations that pay revision should be made only once ten years, Chandy said the present way of revising the pay once in five years would continue. However, Chandy categorically said government cannot go back on its decision to introduce the PPS from April one.
Meanwhile, the government announced dies-non (no work, no pay) to face the strike. Kerala has about 4.5 lakh government employees.
With the ongoing private bus workers’ strike, Kerala is likely to experience a hartal-like situation on Tuesday.