More than two lakh government employees of Haryana participated in a successful strike for 72 hours from 20th-22nd February, under the leadership of an Employees Coordinating Committee.
The strike was to demand an end to contract system of labour, an end to outsourcing work, for filling vacancies, to make partime workers permanent, and to cancel the permits of 3519 private bus operators. More than 90% of the state government employees participated in the strike.
All unions of the Haryana Roadways, Nagarpalika Sangh, Patwari and Kanungo Association, Assistant Commisioner’s Office, Marketing Board, Market Committee, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Association, General Hospital, NRHM, RCH, MPHW, Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, workers from the Electricity Board, Mechanical Board, Partime Teachers’ Sangh, Ministerial Staff, Haryana Education Ministerial Staff Association, Forest department workers and employees, agricultural workers, Kisan Sabha, ITI staff participated in this strike.
The anti-worker Haryana government made every effort to stop this strike. It imposed S.144 all across the state, which makes an assembly of more than 5 people illegal. All departments threatened to arrest the employees in the name of “law and order” if they participated in the strike. Several employees were arrested. Despite all this, the militant unity of the workers was evident.
The strike lasted for 72 hours, but from the spirit of the striking employees, it was clear that they wanted to take this to conclusion. But they called a halt to the strike when the government buckled under pressure to agree to respond positively to the demands and to invite them for talks.
The employees conveyed the message to the government that they would go on strike yet again if it did not deal with their demands effectively. In the course of these events, the government also promised that the cases filed against the employees would be withdrawn and those arrested would be released.
After the meeting of the employees with the government on 24th January, the Chief Secretary announced the setting up of 3 committees which would look into the demand of regularizing the contract workers in labour and legal department and also the demands related to the Electricity Department. The committees will prepare their report at the earliest and meet on 1st February. Thereafter, they will call for a meeting with the representatives of the employees on 15th February.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar hails the successful strike of the Haryana state government employees.