Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Talks with Govt yield no result, 2 days' strike to commence tomorrow

Ahead of strike, ICSE reschedules three exams, Maharashtra does not.

Eleven Central trade unions tonight stuck to their call for a 

two-day nation-wide strike from Wednesday after talks 

with senior ministers convened at the instance of Prime Minister 

failed.

Rejecting the prime minister’s appeal yesterday to the unions to call of the stir, the trade unions said the panel of ministers failed to give then any concrete proposal and that not even one of their demands were accepted.
“The strike is on… They are only asking for time. They say they will study the demand and will give proper reply or take necessary action later on… We said it is not possible, there should be some concrete decision over demands of the workers,” INTUC President G Sanjeeva Reddy told reporters. INTUC is affiliated to the Congress.
AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta also endorsed Reddy’s views.
The two-hour long meeting was attended by representatives of all the 11 trade unions.
Prime Minister had yesterday appealed to the unions to call off their strike as it would cause loss to economy besides inconvenience to people and offered talks.
The Prime Minister had requested his senior Cabinet colleagues A K Antony, Sharad Pand P Chidambaram besides Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge to hold discussions with the union leaders.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram could not attend the meeting because of ongoing budget meetings. The meeting took place in Antony’s office at the Defence Ministry.
Reddy also said that government failed to offer any alternative to their call for strike.
“If no demand is settled and no concrete assurance is given, it is very difficult for the trade unions to withdraw or postpone the strike,” he said.
Asked what were the offers given to unions from the government, he said, “No offer, they wanted more time. We said we have already given two years time. We placed the demands three years before, so three years time we already gave, so there is no question of giving more time.”
The government could not give any concrete assurance on any one single demand,he said, adding therefore we are sticking to our strike plan.
The 10 demands mainly related to checking of price rise, generation of employment, halting of disinvestment in public sector enterprises and implementation of labour laws.
ICSE Exam rescheduled
To avoid inconvenience to students due to a nationwide trade union bandh on February 20 and 21, the Indian School Certificate Examination (ICSE) board has rescheduled three papers of ISC (class XII) board exams.
Three papers, art paper III, environmental science paper I and environmental education paper 1, scheduled on February 20 and 21 are now rescheduled to February 25 and April 1.
"We had received requests from heads of various schools from across the country since the bandh was announced. Following a meeting we were of the opinion that we should not take any chances," said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of Council for ICSE.
While ICSE has rescheduled the examinations, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) Monday announced it will not reschedule the exams as there are chances the bandh would be called off.
The HSC exams will start from February 21.
(With inputs from PTI, Indian Express )

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