A month after over 300,000 of its employees went on strike, the Bihar government has decided to dismiss them, officials said on Saturday.
The government would begin to serve dismissal notices to striking employees on Saturday, said Amir Subhani, secretary, Personnel and Administrative Reforms department. The notices would be sent to the employees' homes.
According to official sources, a decision to serve dismissal notices, under section 8(2) of the Bihar Government Servant Conduct Rules, 1976, was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by chief secretary RJM Pillai.
"Some top officials were busy till late on Friday night preparing the final list of employees to be served notices," the sources said.
The move comes a day after the government told the Patna High Court that it would not hold negotiations with the associations of the striking employees until the month-long stir was withdrawn.
The employees went on an indefinite strike on Jan 7 demanding implementation of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission in "letter and spirit" after failure of talks with Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the finance portfolio.
The government issued the striking employees show-cause notices on Jan 22, a day after the deadline to resume work lapsed, warning them of action including denial of salary and suspension from work. However, the striking employees did not return to work as their demands were not accepted by the government.
Modi, who refused to accept the employees' demands because of a funds crunch, had earlier ruled out any possibility of the government negotiating with the striking employees.
The strike has affected the functioning of the government departments and health services across the state. Most of the government offices, particularly the treasury and registration departments, wear a deserted look.
However, the leaders of the striking employees said that strike will continue despite the threats to dismiss them.
Earlier, the striking employees ignored the state government's "no work, no pay" warning. "We will not end our strike unless our demands are accepted by the government," said Manjul Kumar Das, general secretary of the Bihar State Non-Gazetted Employees Federation (BSNGEF).