Keep away from Feb 28 strike, Mamata tells unorganised sector

Stepping up the offensive to foil an industrial strike called on Feb 28, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday first urged and then warned unorganised sector workers not to join the general shut-down.

“Do not allow the strike. Keep the state running, keep your families running. Do not fall into traps or provocations,” Banerjee said while addressing unorganised sector workers.

She appealed to the workers from the transport sector not to join the strike. “Do not indulge yourself in the strike. You are the most vital part of the economy. If you operate, the economy runs, the state progresses.”

The urging subsequently turned into warnings as she asked state Labour Minister Purnendu Bose to ensure that workers reported for work on the day.

“Promote only those who are working and not those who don’t. I will take appropriate steps to ensure there is no CPI-M (Communist Party of India -Marxist) affiliated partycracy among the workers,” said Banerjee, turning to Bose.
Earlier, Transport Minister Madan Mitra warned his department employees of stern action if they participated in the strike.

“Those who don't come that day could face discontinuation of service. That has been said clearly and the government will decide on the reasons for leave. Leave cut and salary cut is there. They may even lose seniority,” Mitra said Friday after a meeting with the chairmen and managing directors of five state-owned transport corporations.

The government has also issued a circular barring government employees from taking leave on that day.

Eleven central trade unions, including INTUC, BMS, CITU, AITUC, UTUC, AIUTUC, HMS, TUCI and NLO, will participate in the Feb 28 general shut-down, demanding steps for controlling the rise in prices of essential commodities and creation of more employment opportunities.

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