Food Corporation of India (FCI) employees observed a strike and held protest meeting on Tuesday outside their district office in Ferozepur.
Today's action came on a call of national committees of Bharatiya Khadya Nigam Karamchari Sangh (BKNK) and FCI executive staff union. The agitation is over non-implementation of agreements on pay and other issues.
The workers asked for percentage-based fringe benefits to employees of Group III and IV employees (as given to officers in Group I and II), after-retirement medical scheme, pension, fixing of norms for scientific storage and transit, stopping of round-the-clock loading of rakes, and payment of overtime allowance.
AS Bhogal, district secretary of the BKNK Sangh, blamed the FCI management for inaction on the agreements reached last year. The corporation had accepted the deal of not handing charge sheets to employees till the new norms for storage and transit were finalised. The FCI assurance was in writing.
Yogesh Kumar Handa and Ashok Kumar, district secretary and president, respectively, of the FCI executive staff union, called for work-to-rule strike from April 20 to May 3. Boota Singh of the FCI SC/ST association, and Kehar Singh, president of the BKNK Sangh, called for a strike on May 4.
The labour union of the FCI is on strike since March 26. No rake of rice or wheat had been loaded anywhere in Ferozepur and Fazilka districts. It has added to the space crunch in storage-deficit districts that have to preserve 3.11 lakh metric tonnes of wheat from the season 2012-13 alone.