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?Oust Naresh? added to demands

india Updated: Jul 16, 2006 01:07 IST

Roadways staff threaten ‘chakka jam’ from July 18

LAUNCHING A scathing attack on Transport Minister Naresh Agrawal for the ‘repression let loose’ on employees, the UP Roadways Employees’ Union (UPREU) today declared that all employees would proceed on an indefinite ‘chakka jam’ strike from July 18 if their demands were not met.

This decision was taken at a meeting of the union’s state executive here today.
UPREU president Ramji Tripathi and general secretary Tej Bahadur Sharma said the employees would also demonstrate at all district headquarters on July 17 and submit a memorandum to the CM through district magistrates.

Apart from the earlier demands for DA merger, increase of retirement age and time-bound pay scales, the memorandum will also demand removal of Naresh Agrawal from the State Cabinet for his ‘corrupt deals’ in purchase of Shatabdi buses from a Chandigarh-based private company, withdrawal of all suspension, termination orders and quashing of FIRs filed against employees under Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).

“If the chief minister fails to meet all these demands, we will begin an indefinite ‘chakka jam’ agitation from the night of July 18,” warned the leaders. They claimed support from many other employees’ unions.

The leaders said taking action against employees under the ESMA for making rightful demands showed that Agrawal was not a socialist but a feudalist. They alleged that he was deliberately harming the Samajwadi Party by repressing the employees and advised the chief minister to understand things and make an effective intervention in the matter.

In a related development, over 200 employees posted at the UPSRTC headquarters submitted a signed application to the management demanding their suspension, in solidarity with the five employees who were suspended on Saturday for being on strike on July 11. “Why only 5, we all were on strike so the same punishment should be given to us,” they said in the application.

Sources said another 200 employees would give a similar application to the management tomorrow. Out of 431 employee at the headquarters, as many as 429 were absent from the duty on July 11.