Bengal minister warns employees against strike
Kolkata: West Bengal Transport Minister on Friday warned his department employees of stern action if they did not report for duty on February 28 when a country-wide industrial strike would be observed.
"The previous government used to sponsor bandhs. For the first time in 34 years, the chief secretary has issued a specific order that absence from duty on that date will affect their service record," Madan Mitra said.
"Their leave and salary will be deducted and they may even lose seniority and face discontinuation of service," Mitra said, after a meeting with the chairmen and managing directors of five state-owned transport corporations.
He said his department, like the others, would follow directives in the chief secretary's circular.
Asked if those reporting sick on that day would also face action, he said, "In spite of financial constraints, the government has taken steps to ensure that all transport corporation employees get their backlog salaries by February 28. I hope they will not fall sick."
With Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee taking the initiative in clearing the salary backlog of transport corporation employees, they should decide whether they would join the strike or join the state government's 'desperate' attempt to save the corporations, Mitra said.
More than 1,000 state-owned buses would be operated on the day of the strike, he said.
He said he had also been assured by private bus, mini-bus and taxi owners, that they would operate their vehicles on that day. "They have just requested for minimum security," he said.