Monday, Jul 14, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The DMK-affiliated Labour Progressive Federation, the CITU and the AITUC will file appeals against the High Court order by Tuesday, say the union leaders. P. Chidambaram, Congress Jananayaga Peravai leader, will challenge the validity of the Act in the Supreme Court.
Leaders of many employees unions felt that any appeal against the High Court order would serve no purpose, as it would only lead to a prolonged legal battle. Already employees suffered mental agony for the last 10 days and they did not have the physical strength to continue the battle anymore, that too against a government which was bent on "crushing the workers' movement".
So it was left to the trade unions to continue the battle, said office-bearers of the trade unions. The LPF president, C.Kuppusami, and the CITU State general secretary, T.K.Rengarajan told The Hindu that their unions would be filing the petitions during the course of this week.
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India, on its part, has convened an all-party meeting here for tomorrow to work out a strategy to counter the "anti-labour" policy of the State Government. The law, "draconian" in nature, would not be allowed to continue, as it is a grave attack on the basic rights of employees to employment security and fundamental rights as citizens, said an official release, jointly released by the CPI and the CPI(M).
The Joint Action Council of Tamil Nadu Teachers and Employees Organisation (JACTTEO) has expressed concern at the delay in revoking dismissal orders of four lakh employees, including two lakh teachers working in government and aided colleges and schools. It appealed to the Government to revoke the orders at the earliest to enable them to attend to work. Having decided to attend work from tomorrow, they hoped that the Government would not put any stringent condition for rejoining duty. However, late in the evening, as there was a renewed hope of the Government calling the unions for talks, the JACTTEO withdrew their statement asking the dismissed teachers to conduct classes on school premises.
On Saturday, a day after the judgment, hundreds of dismissed employees gathered at the Secretariat to hand over their petitions. But as it was a holiday, many higher officials did not turn up.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Arasu Aluvalar Kazhagam (C&D) Group blamed other employees' unions for the present impasse. It felt that the employees should not have resorted to strike after the Chief Minister announced a relief to the tune of about Rs. 553 crores. The unions should have appreciated the Chief Minister's gesture despite a severe financial crunch. The kazhagam would meet the Chief Secretary, the Finance Secretary and the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Secretary soon to get the get the dismissal order revoked at the earliest, it said in a statement.
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