Trade unions protest: Govt warns employees against participation

Trade unions protest: Govt warns employees against participation New Delhi: Ahead of the proposed two-day strike by Central trade unions beginning Wednesday, the Government has warned employees of "consequences" including deduction in wages and disciplinary action if they take part in the protest.

In a stern directive, the Department of Personnel and Training has written to secretaries of all central government ministries not to sanction any kind of leave to employees during the period of the proposed strike.

It has also asked the concerned departments to make a report indicating the number of employees who take part in the proposed strike and convey it to the DoPT on the evening of the day.

The instructions issued by the DoPT prohibit a government servant from participating in any form of strike including mass casual leave, go-slow etc. Or any action that abet any form of strike in violation of Rule of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964.

"As to the concomitant rights of an association after it is formed, they cannot be different from the rights which can be claimed by the individual members of which the association is composed. It follows that the right to form an association does not include any guaranteed right to strike. There is no statutory provision empowering the employees to go on strike," it said in the directive.

The Supreme Court has also agreed in several judgements that going on a strike is a grave misconduct under the Conduct Rules and that misconduct by the government employees is required to be dealt with in accordance with the law.

"Any employee going on strike in any form would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action," the DoPT said.

Protesting against government's "inaction" on price rise and alleged violation of labour laws, 11 Central trade unions and workers' federation have called for a two-day nationwide strike on February 20 and 21.

The DoPT has asked the secretaries of government departments to inform employees working under them about the provisions of Conduct Rules to prohibit them from participating in the strike.

"You may also issue instructions not to sanction casual leave or other kind of leave to employees if applied for, during the period of the proposed strike and ensure that the willing employees are allowed hindrance free entry into the office premises," it said.

A suitable contingency plan may also be worked out to carry out the various functions of the ministry or department, the direction issued by the government said.

"In case the employees go on strike, a report indicating the number of employees who took part in the proposed strike may be conveyed to this department on the evening of the day," the DoPT directive added.

PTI