The Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) an amalgam of government employee unions and the cabinet subcommittee constituted by the government are at loggerheads with each other with both the sides showing no signs of any immediate agreement.
Talking to KNS, Abdul Qayoomn Wani, senior leader JCC spearheading the employees’ agitation in support of their pending demands, said: “Our demands are genuine and the government acknowledged the same many a times. We are striving for our demands in a democratic way and we will never quit. We have been given warnings in past but these cautions are not going to deliver anything.”
He added that EJAC has held an emergency meeting of its central, Provincial and district leaders in which the entire leadership was determined to face the ‘unjustified threats’ by the state Government.
Wani said that the leaders at the helm in the Government behave as ‘Sultans’ and treat more than 4 lakh employees as ‘slaves ‘.
Meanwhile, Farooq Ahmad Trali, JCC chief spokesman told KNS that the disagreement between the government and the employees union is because of the fissures in the cabinet subcommittee. “Actually some ministers in the cabinet subcommittee which is dealing with our demands are not comfortable with each other which is harming our cause,’ Trali alleged.
When contacted by KNS, Taj Mohi-u-Din, the minister for medical education and a member of the cabinet subcommittee, said: “The government is serious about the few pending demands of the JCC. It is the employee unions which are creating hurdles in any agreement. We believe in cordial relations with our employees and we also want to reach an agreement with JCC without any fuss. It is the government’s compassion for these employees that we have not invoked Supreme Court ruling against them for announcing protest programmes.”
Regarding the JCC demands, the minister for medical education said that the government has already constituted a committee to look into pay anomaly issue and for regularization of causal labourers, the government has asked the department to furnish the requisite data which is yet to be received by the government. On the enhancement of retirement age, the minister said that the government had sought some time to decide about the matter keeping the complexity of the issue into consideration.
Another cabinet minister, who is also in the subcommittee, when contacted by KNS said: “We have provided them (JCC) a bus, but unfortunately they have missed it. The government can go to any extent to deal with the protesting employees. We have many options available with us like service break, termination of services under Supreme Court rulings. The JCC is just crying hoarse for the vested interests of a few employees who are at the verge of their retirement.” The minister pleading anonymity said that the employees were testing government’s patience which according to him was running out. “It is this government which had conceded almost all demands of the employees and yet they are adamant to inflict miseries on the people,” he said.
It may be recalled that on September 27, the meeting between JCC and the Government failed to reach any conclusion making the employee leadership to issue fresh protest calendar.
Immediately after coming out from the meeting, JCC issued a fresh protest calendar calling for five-day protest demonstrations commencing from October 1. According to this protest calendar October 2, will witness candle light march by employees which will start from Sher-e-Kashmir Park and end at Chief Minister’s residence. On October 1, employees according to JCC protest calendar will protest in front of the secretariat while as the secretariat staff will protest inside the secretariat premises. On October 3, the employees will protest in front of the state assembly. Wani said that there will be a complete strike on October 4, 5.
The meeting which failed to reach any conclusion was attended by senior cabinet ministers including Abdul Rahim Rather, Taj Mohi-ud-din, Ajay Sadotra, Sham Lal Sharma, Nawang Ringzin Jora and Ali Mohammad Sagar.
The JCC leader Abdul Qayoom Wani had later told KNS that their meeting cabinet subcommittee today failed as the Government asked for three months more for the fulfillment of pending demands of the employees. “The government actually wants to kill the time. They don’t seem to be serious in resolving our issues,” Wani had said. Among its various demands, employees unions seek enhancement in retirement age from 58 to 60 years, removal of pay anomalies and regularization of the daily-wage and casual labourers.