Confederation of central government employees and workers | explanatory note on demands
Right to strike
Article 309 of the Constitution makes it incumbent upon the Government of India and the Provincial Governments to make enactments to regulate the service conditions of the civil servants. However, till date no such enactment has either been moved or passed by the Parliament.. The transitory provisions empowering the President of India to make rules till such time the enactment is made has been employed to regulate the service conditions of the Government employees. Once recruited as an employee, the ILO’s conventions provide all trade union rights. India is a signatory to those conventions. Despite all these legal and moral obligations on the part of the Government, the Government employees continue to be denied the right to collective bargaining. No negotiation is worth the meaning, if the employees have no right to withdraw their labour in case of a non-satisfactory agreement on their demands. It is this legal lacuna which was employed by the Supreme Court to justify the arbitrary dismissal of lakhs of employees by the Tamilnadu State Government when they resorted to strike action. In the judgment delivered by the Supreme Court, it was observed that the Government employees do not have any legal, fundamental or moral right to resort to strike action. The entire section of the Indian Working Class enjoys the right to strike and an effective collective bargaining system except the Government employees. The denial of the right to strike to Government employees was employed by the British Colonial Rulers as part of the scheme to subjugate the Indian people and to shut out any probable dissenting views within the Governmental machinery. To continue with the same concept is to infer that the Sovereign Republic of India want to follow the archaic rules and regulations conceived by colonial rulers perhaps with the same intent. We therefore urge that necessary legislation affording the right to strike to Government employees may be made in the Parliament.