Chennai: In a split decision, thousands of government officers and teachers from 21 associations of Joint Action Committee of Tamilnadu Teachers Organisations-Government Employees Organisations (JACTTO-GEO), started an indefinite strike today, which did not see the participation from the majority of associations from the coalition.
The protest is being held demanding to implement the old pension scheme and revise the pay structure. The 21 associations started the indefinite strike stating that talks with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami “did not give the definite answer to their demands”.
Majority Of the 79 associations comprising JACTTO-GEO, decided to postpone their indefinite strike after talks that took place with the Chief Minister on Wednesday.
“Former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa made a poll promise to implement the old pension scheme. On that regard, the government should scrap the new contributory pension scheme (CPS) immediately. But the Palaniswami did not give any assurance on pay revision,” said one of the coordinators of JACTTO-GEO.
Protests are being staged all over the State, in places like Arakkonam, Arani, Erode, Salem, Thiruvannamalai, Tirunelveli, Tiruttani apart from Chennai.
Government run schools, colleges and offices were hit the most due to the strike. The organising committee in itself was split over the decision made by the 21 associations.
One of the State conveners of JACTTO-GEO, said the Chief Minister had assured them that the government will announce an interim relief by 30 September. “We will swiftly act on implementing the old pension scheme after receiving the report from the committee. Hence, we decided to postpone our protest until 15 October,” he said.
Earlier, on 5 August, members of the coalition went on a strike stating the same demands. “We will go on a single day strike on 22 August and if the government does not respond in accordance and invite us for a speech, an indefinite strike will commence from 7 September onwards,” they had told. As announced a one-day strike took place on 22 August, impeding government works.
On Tuesday, a petition was filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, seeking to restrain members of the coalition from participating in the indefinite strike.
The bench adjourned the matter to today in the wake of ongoing talks (that happened on Wednesday) between the government and members of JACTTO-GEO.
Majority of the 79 associations comprising JACTTO-GEO, decided to postpone their indefinite strike after talks that took place with the Chief Minister on Wednesday.