Employees on cease work strike, government warns against essential service employees involvement

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Imphal: Demanding to fulfill the demand to immediately convert the agreements that had been signed with the employees’ body and government under the umbrella of Manipur Secretariat Services Association (MSSA) and Manipur Government Services Federation, employees including staff of health department launched sit-in protest on Wednesday.

The protest was launched in continuation of the indefinite cease work strike that was launched on Tuesday.

The employees’ associations had signed various memorandums of agreement, however, the government has failed to implement the agreements, MSSA general secretary Purujit Lairikyengbam said.

Various agreements regarding fulfilling the demands of employees had been signed with the then chief secretary but since then no agreements had been implemented, he added.

The employees has been demanding the list of demands for the last about 4-5 years. Instead of considering the demands the government is giving priority to the strategy of the election. If the employees have to continue in this situation then it will be hard to bring out positive impact., the secretary said.

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The charter of demands includes equal pay for all secretariat assistants; 3-tier system in pay scales of drivers; filling up of all promotional vacancies; payment of dearness allowance (DA) 28 per cent; grade pay rectification in respect of ASO, SO, private secretaries etc.; and re-designation of group-D employees.

The agitation will be intensified if the government fails to fulfill the demands, Purujit said.

On the other hand, in connection with the launching of the indefinite cease work strike, state home department issued an order warning that any form of agitation which disrupts or dislocates the “essential services” as outlined under section 2(a)(iii) of the Manipur Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1984 will have a serious adverse impact on the maintenance of public health especially during Covid-19 crisis and would seriously endanger the life of public.

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The government order signed by special secretary (home) H. Gyan Prakash mentioned that the order was issued in response to the cease work strike called by Manipur Government Services Federation and others including some staff of the state health department including nurses.

It said it is necessary to prohibit the launching of any agitation or participation in any form of agitation by the staff of health department in public interest.

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Therefore, the governor of Manipur, in excise of the power conferred under section 3(1) of the Manipur Essential Services Maintenance Act,1984, is hearby pleased to order that any form of agitation including participation in the “cease work” strike disrupts or dislocates the functioning of the state health department services is prohibited with immediate effect.

It said no person employed in any essential services shall go or remain on strike and any strike declared or commenced, whether before or after the issue of said order by persons employed in any such services shall be illegal.

The order shall remain in force for a period of six months from the date of issue of the order, it added.

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