The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Left scorns SC verdict

Calcutta, Aug. 7: Communists in Bengal today took to the streets in protest, a day after the Supreme Court outlawed strike by government workers.

The CPM’s labour wing, Citu, took out three major rallies in the city, disrupting the afternoon traffic. The decision was taken at the party’s state secretariat meeting last evening.

Several employees’ organisations, including the CPM-controlled Coordination Committee and its rival West Bengal Government Employees’ Union (Nabaparjaya), protested during lunch-break between 1.30 and 2 pm at Writers’ Buildings, outside the VIP area where ministers have their offices.

Employees belonging to the Citu and the committee also protested in other state and central offices across Bengal.

Labour minister Mohammad Amin said employees have the right to strike work. “If that right is snatched from employees, they will definitely go for a bigger movement.”

Joining the stream of protests, Jyoti Basu said the Left Front government is the only government in the country that has accorded the right to strike work to its employees.

Forward Bloc’s labour wing TUCC echoed the sentiment when its state secretary Saral Deb said the union would go for a statewide movement, if necessary.

Joining in the protest, Aituc of the CPI urged all trade unions to build up public opinion against the verdict.

The Congress, too, opposed the order by taking a dig at the Left Front government. State party general secretary Pradip Bhattacharya said the government should file a review petition in the Supreme Court as it claimed to be the people’s government.

Hitting back, CPM state secretary Anil Biswas said the Congress was trying to shirk its responsibility by pushing the government to file a review petition. “Instead of advising the state government, the Congress also should take up the issue seriously,” he said.

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