GTA Casual employees starts strike demanding job regularisation

GTA Casual employees starts pen down strike demanding job regularisation
Casual employees of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration started a three-day strike in all offices of the hill body today demanding job regularisation.

The agitation by 5,000-odd casual workers, who are members of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha-backed Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangatan, is likely to hamper official work as most GTA employees are temporary.

The JAKS is the second frontal organisation of the Morcha to launch an agitation in the past one month. On November 20, voluntary and para teachers under the banner of the Janmukti Insecure Secondary Teachers' Organisation started a relay hunger strike demanding job regularisation.

Today, JAKS members went to all GTA offices and requested the employees to abstain from work. Spokesperson Deepak Sharma said: "We called the strike all of a sudden this morning so that our agitation is more effective and to put pressure on the GTA and state. The state should withdraw its appeal against #the favourable order by the high court."

On May 14, the court had issued a directive asking the state to convene a meeting with GTA within four months to decide on the process of absorbing the casual employees of GTA. But soon after, the state filed an appeal in the division bench against the directive.

Sharma said: "There are 5,300 casual employees in the GTA and there are at least 4,011 sanctioned posts. This does not, however, include posts in departments like transport, land and land revenue and others which have not been fully handed over to the GTA."

The casual workers of the GTA currently get a monthly salary of Rs 2,500 to Rs 21,000.

Kishan Gurung, the general secretary, JAKS, said: "We have decided to keep staff involved in emergency services, like health, water supply and teachers involved in exams out of the strike's purview."

Apart from the JAKS and the teachers' outfit, another Morcha affiliate, Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union, has called a relay hunger strike in Kurseong from December 5 to 10. The outfit has called a general strike in the hills on December 10 to protest the state's failure to reopen Panighatta estate that has been shut since October10.

On December 6, Morcha-backed Bharatiya Gorkha Janjati Sangraskha Maha Sangh, a body demanding tribal status for 10 hill communities, will bring out a rally in Darjeeling.(TT)

Share news to: