Guwahati: More than 450,000 government employees in Assam have started an agitation demanding that their new pay scales be made effective from January 2006 and not from April 2009 as the government has decided.
Two employees unions - the Sadou Assam Karmachari Parishad (SAKP) and the Assam Employees Federation - have already announced separate agitation programmes.
The Federation Wednesday resorted to a three-hour long sit-in and shouted anti-government slogans in front of the state secretariat in Guwahati.
"Our demands are genuine and if the government fails to review their decision, we shall intensify our agitation in the days ahead," Federation secretary Manmohan Rajbonshi told a news agency.
The SAKP, the more influential of the two unions, has announced a string of protest plans beginning Jan 6 with a sit-in and a pen-down strike.
"We shall bring the functioning of the state government to a total halt if we don`t get a positive response from the chief minister," the SAKP`s Basav Kalita said.
The two unions are also demanding a flat three percent increment instead of the government`s decision to provide them two percent increment and another one percent later depending on performance.
"There would be discrepancies if there is an increment based on performance and we want a flat three percent increment for all the employees," Kalita said.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has termed the agitation as unjustified.
"We have already set up a committee to look into any anomalies and grievances. There is no justification in resorting to any form of agitation," Gogoi said.