In a move that may trigger fresh controversy regarding the state governments stand on full trade union rights of its employees,Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday sent a radiogram message to civil servants and policemen stating clearly that government staff will not be allowed to take leave on February 28 when Central trade unions,mostly controlled by the Left parties,will observe industrial strike across the country.
During the Left rule,state government employees who chose to remain absent on the day of a strike used to be given an opportunity to apply for leave. Hardening its stand,the state has made it clear that the option to seek leave on the day will not be given to the staff under the TMC regime. The order is likely to prompt a fresh agitation.
The message,sent by Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh to all divisional commissioners,district magistrates and senior police officers in districts,stated that government employees will not be granted any leave on that day (February 28). It further stated: Attempts of forcible closure of government offices,shops,markets,educational institutions,industrial establishments,should be firmly dealt with. All state government offices will remain open on that day and all government employees should report for duty.
The move came up in the midst of a row over state Labour Minister Purnendu Boses remarks on the right to strike of state government staff by the earlier regime. By issuing this,the state has supported Bose,who had ruffled the feathers of employees associations by threatening to withdraw full trade union rights of government staff.