Mamata urges people to oppose strike, government warns absentees of action

Kolkata, Aug 29 (IANS) Hours after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged people to oppose the general strike called by the central trade unions on September 2, the West Bengal government on Monday came out with a memorandum asking all employees to report for duty on Friday, and threatened to slap showcause notices on those who remain absent a day prior to the strike, the strike day itself, and the next working day.

“In view of the call given by different trade unions for strike all over the country on September 2, it has been decided that all state government offices including those provided with grants-in-aid by the state government would remain open and all employees should report for duty on that date,” the memorandum said.

“It has also been decided that no leave shall be granted to any employee on the shutdown day, the day prior to it (September 1), and on the next working day (September 5),” said the memorandum.

The government also said that employees who remain absent on the day of the strike would not be paid their salary.

The memorandum said employees who are severely ill, already on leave, admitted in hospital, or who have suffered a bereavement in the family would not come under the ambit of the order.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee said people should come out without any fear and promised to provide compensation if property is damaged by strike supporters.

“The state will take responsibility to provide compensation if properties or vehicles are damaged by strike enforcers … don’t allow hooliganism by some who were defeated in the democratic election. You come out without any fear and keep everything normal,” she said.

Elaborating her party’s stand on the strike, she said: “It is our policy to oppose shutdown or strike. We are against it. We support some of the issues raised by the trade unions. But there is scope to discuss and raise such issues at the proper platform.”

“Trinamool Congress would not support shutdowns. Strike is like a casual leave,” Banerjee told reporters at the West Bengal Legislative Assembly premises.

On Friday, Banerjee had said the state would not allow any strike on September 2.

The national general strike has been called by the central trade unions to protest against the “anti-people, anti-national and anti-worker” policies of the central government.



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