February 1st, 2012
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West Bengals plans to ban trade union rights

ban-on-trade-unionKolkata: West Bengal government intends to withdraw the full Trade Union Rights of its state government employees. West Bengal Labour Minister Purnendu Bose told media persons that the government is planning to withdraw a clause in the Service Rule. The dropping of the clause, introduced by the Left Front government in the past, would mean that the state government employees’ unions would not be able to call a strike.

Mr. Purnendu Basu told that the Service Conduct Rules of the government employees of 1981 will be amended for this purpose. Basu also said that the Labour Department will put the proposal to the state cabinet for its approval. If the clause is withdrawn by the cabinet decision, government employees will not be able to launch agitation, dharna, hunger strike or other forms of movements. The state government has already banned Trade Union Rights in the police force by forming a Police Welfare Board.

Bose, however, said the government would not de-recognise the employees associations. The amendment in the Service Rules was brought by Left Front government in 1981 through a circular issued by the finance department.

As per Trade Union Act of 1926 full rights were given to workers to form unions under the affiliation of political parties, but the state service rules do not give the rights to state government employees to accept direct membership of any political outfit.

Meanwhile, different state government employees and associations have condemned the government’s move and have threatened larger protests on the issue. Employees belonging to various associations termed it as “infringement of rights”.

“We will protest with all our might. On February 28, trade unions will be holding a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. We will raise the issue there. Also, we will hold agitation in front of Jantar Mantar in Delhi on the same day,” said Samir Ranjan Mojumdar, general secretary of Nabaparjay, a state government employees’ association.


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