'This is not war, it is our anguish': APJAC calls for indefinite strike from 6 Feb after 'Chalo Vijayawada'

No employee will work in their departments from 7 February. The staff of the electricity department and the State Road Transport Corporation are likely to take part in the indefinite strike.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  3 Feb 2022 12:18 PM GMT
This is not war, it is our anguish: APJAC calls for indefinite strike from 6 Feb after Chalo Vijayawada

Amaravati: At least one lakh employees may have attended the 'Chalo Vijayawada' programme on Thursday despite the Vijayawada police denying permission to hold the protest. Calling the protest a success, the Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee (APJAC) has announced an indefinite strike from 6 February midnight.

No employee will work in their departments from 7 February. The staff of the electricity department and the State Road Transport Corporation are likely to take part in the indefinite strike.

A day before 'Chalo Vijayawada' was scheduled, Vijayawada police commissioner Kanti Rana Tata had said they had denied permission for the programme keeping in view the COVID-19 situation in the state. As per the guidelines issued by the state and Central governments, any programme with a gathering of 200 people is not allowed. But Chalo Vijayawada, which was expected to be attended by over 5,000 employees, saw more than 50,000 employees, teachers, and pensioners reaching the city after a call by PRC Sadhana Samiti, the joint action committee of all employees' associations.

As Section 30 of the Police Act and Section 144 of CrPC is currently in force in the city, any procession or congregation with more than five persons is a violation of the law.

The employees who took part in the programme to protest against the new 11th PRC said Chalo Vijayawada was a huge success and a historic protest. They demanded that the state government take back the GO issued last month fixing new pay scales as per 23% pay revision against 27% interim relief they were receiving. The employees demanded the government pay their January salaries as per the old wages and disclose the Ashutosh Mishra Committee report on PRC.

"There were many restrictions imposed to stop the protest but we made it a huge success. Now it's time the Andhra Pradesh government take a decision keeping our demands in mind. We have been requesting the state to fulfill our demands for three years. Today Chalo Vijayawada saw at least one lakh employees and that shows what we are. This is not a war, it is our anguish that we wanted to show to the government," said APJAC chairman (Amaravati) Bopparaju Venkateswarlu.

He added, "Without the disclosure of the PRC report, how can we calculate our pay scales? It is Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy who has to directly talk to us. An indefinite strike from 6 February midnight will cause inconvenience for the public but that is the responsibility of the government. Ahead of the indefinite strike, the employees will adopt non-cooperation from 5 February."

The employees also demanded the government immediately release those employees who were arrested by the police when they were on their way to attend the Chalo Vijayawada programme. "The new PRC is resulting in at least 20% loss in our salaries and our HRA slabs have decreased to 8%. We are ready to work without taking salaries if the government proves that we have got a hike. If the new PRC is really benefiting us, why would we be on the roads with our children to protest against the government?" questioned a teacher who took part in Chalo Vijayawada along with her family.

TDP national general secretary Nara Lokesh tweeted his support for the government employees. Lokesh asked Chief Minister Jagan to stop the ruthless suppression of the employees.

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