THE CENTRAL Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has stayed the process of merging the services of 61 employees of Textbook Press, Chandigarh. The employees have been ordered to be merged with New Delhi Government Press in an order issued by the government on December 11. The application was filed by the Association of Textbook Press, Chandigarh, involving a workforce of 61 employees.
Advocate Maninder Arora, counsel for the petitioners, said most of the staff of Textbook Press, Chandigarh, have been employed for more than a decade and about a dozen employees were on the verge of retirement. Moreover, a person, who has only a year left to retire, cannot be transferred as per law.
“The Textbook Press in Chandigarh is located in the Industrial Area since 1971, under the Ministry of Urban Affairs. The staff received a notice on December 11 and the relieving orders were mentioned for December 31, against which we moved the tribunal,” said Gurbachan Singh, president of the Association of Textbook Press.
“In our petition, we have pleaded that instead of merging the Chandigarh employees with the Delhi Government Press, the Nilokheri and Shimla Government Press staff shall be merged with the Chandigarh Textbook Press here as it is the only Textbook Press of North India or the staff of Chandigarh Press shall be absorbed in other government jobs in Chandigarh only since 31 of the 61 employees will retire in less than five years,” he added.
According to the application, a committee of group of secretaries from the Ministry of Urban Affairs of the Government of India had recommended a shutdown of 12 government presses in the country while retaining the staff and merging them with five government presses and so, the Chandigarh Textbook Press staff was issued notice to merge with the New Delhi Government Press following which the Chandigarh Textbook Association had filed an application with CAT. So, acting on the application, CAT has sought a reply from the Centre on the next date of hearing that is March 14, 2018.