Thursday, Mar 07, 2002
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 6. The Confederation of University Employees Organisations, Kerala, has urged the Chief Minister, A.K.Antony, to initiate dialogue with the Government employees and teachers who have been on strike for the past 29 days.
The confederation general secretary, R.Ramachandran, said in a statement here today that if Mr.Antony had held meaningful talks with the employees, they would not have launched the agitation.
The Government, instead tried to paint the employees as enemies of the public. There was an attempt to bring the farmers and labourers in the traditional sector, who were impoverished by the economic reforms, against the strike. There was also a futile attempt to use the religious and communal forces against the strike, he said.
As part of the moves to weaken the agitation, the Government had imposed dies non and threatened to dismiss probationers. The Essential Services Maintenance Act was invoked to suppress the strike, he said.
Mr.Ramachandran alleged that certain bogus organisations were used to weaken the agitation and Mr.Antony has been repeating that there would be no discussions with the employees. He accused Mr.Antony of trying to use certain Ministers to sabotage the strike.
The meaninglessness of Mr.Antony's statement that the State would not be affected if the Government offices and schools remained closed for months had also been exposed, Mr.Ramachandran said.
He said the strike had affected question hour in the Assembly which was very significant in a democracy. He urged Mr.Antony to hold talks and settle the strike at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the Kerala University Employees' Union general secretary, G.Surendranath, said in a statement that certain vested interests were trying to create fissures in the unity of the employees and teachers.
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