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Mamata govt cuts pay of staff who were absent on strike day

Several employees who do not belong to any associations also condemned the decision.

In a A move that has triggered tremendous resentment among the state government employees,the Mamata Banerjee government on Wednesday ordered to deduct a day’s salary from the account of those employees who did not report to work on February 28 to support the industrial strike called by trade unions.

Soon after a circular on the decision was issued,employees’ associations owing allegiance to Congress and CPM erupted in protest,calling the move “autocratic and undemocratic”. Several employees who do not belong to any associations also condemned the decision. The Confederation of State Government Employees,affiliated to Congress’ labour wing INTUC,even threatened to drag the government to court if the order was “not withdrawn immediately”.

“The order is illegal and a democratically elected government cannot pass such a circular. We will request the chief secretary to withdraw the circular. If he refuses,we may move the court,” said Shyamal Mitra,organising secretary of the confederation.

Urban Development Minister Firad Hakim justified the order. Addressing the media,he said: “There is nothing to hide. We want to restore work culture. Almost all employees had attended duties on that day. There is no element of surprise in the order. The chief secretary had earlier issued an instruction regarding absentee employees. Today’s order is a follow-up exercise.”

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Leader of the Opposition Surjyakanta Mishra said they would request the government to withdraw the order,failing which the government would face consequences.

The order issued by Finance Secretary H K Dwivedi states that “no salary will be admissible for that day (28 February)” but absence on that day will not affect “past service of the concerned employees”. Those who could not come to office because of specified reasons will not come under the purview of the order. The salary cut will not be applicable if an absentee employee submits documents that he had to be hospitalised on that day or he/she could not come due to “bereavement in the family”,the order said. It will not be applicable also to those employees who “had been on leave continuing from before”.

On February 29,the government had issued a show-cause notice to the absentee employees.

First published on: 08-03-2012 at 01:02:44 am
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