7th Pay Commission – Congress Backs Central Government Employees Strike Plan

7th Pay Commission – Congress Backs Central Government Employees Strike – The strike by Central government employees comes close on the heels of the countrywide protests announced by an RSS-affiliate, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, against the Pay Commission recommendations on July 8.

Central Government EmployeesThe Congress on Thursday announced its support to the proposed strike by Central government employees on July 11 against the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations that had been accepted by the government: the party described it as the “worst” in the last 70 years, adding, “This is unjust and humiliating for beneficiaries.”

Referring to the July 11 strike announced by the Federation of Government Employees that includes those working for the Indian Railways, the Ordnance Factories and Posts and Telegraph, senior party spokesman Ajay Maken said, “We support them and hope the Government of India will review its decision.”

The strike by Central government employees comes close on the heels of the countrywide protests announced by an RSS-affiliate, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, against the Pay Commission recommendations on July 8.

Mr. Maken said he was not surprised by the Centre’s decision as it had been the  practice to promote the private sector at the expense of the government sector.

“If you want to promote social justice, “he said, “You need to make service conditions in the government sector better as it is now attracting the recently aspirational class. For the better-off, the private sector is always there.”

Making a strong pitch for a better deal to government employees, Mr. Maken asked, “If you do not have the best brains working in the government, then how can you expect the government to protect the country’s interests vis-à-vis the multinationals in this era of globalisation?”

The Central government employees were a “frustrated and disappointed” lot as the Cabinet decided not to improve on the recommendations, Mr. Maken said, stressing, “It is unfortunate that the employees, who were given a 40 per cent hike after the Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions by previous governments, are now only going to get a jump of 14.27 per cent.”

“In the case of pensioners, The 7th Pay Commission had recommended complete parity of past pensioners with present retirees [on the lines of One Rank, One Pension for the armed forces] , but the government has shelved it,” he said. “Similarly, no decision has been taken about allowances and has been kept in abeyance by the government.”

The Congress leader also pointed out that the government had ignored the consistent demand to reduce the gap between the lowest paid and the highest paid employees from 1:12 to 1:8. Instead of the gap being reduced, it has been further increased by the Seventh Pay Commission to 1:14, Mr. Maken said.

Source: The Hindu

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