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Maharashtra employees' strike for Old Pension Scheme continues for 3rd day; services affected

Maharashtra employees' strike for Old Pension Scheme entered third day and there is no hope for a solution sooner as protesting employees alleged government officials of being stubborn.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Mumbai Published on: March 16, 2023 21:07 IST
Protesting staff hold agitation
Image Source : PTI Protesting staff hold agitation

Maharashtra government, on the third day of the strike of state government employees seeking restoration of the Old Pension Scheme, failed to make any breakthrough to end the agitation amid disruption in public services on Thursday.

Meanwhile, it emerged that the state government has appointed private agencies to fill up vacancies on a contractual basis. 

Government Vs protesting staff continues

The umbrella body of the unions coordinating the strike blamed the government's "stubborn attitude" for the continuance of their agitation. An application seeking end to the strike was filed in the High Court, and it could be heard on Friday.

Government hospitals were the worst affected by the strike which also took a toll on the functioning of the administration.

As per a Government Resolution (GR) issued by the Industries, Energy and Labour department on March 14, the day the strike began, nine private agencies have been appointed to hire "highly skilled, skilled, semi-skilled and non-skilled" personnel on contract. The GR or the government order came to light on Thursday. 

Notably, one of the demands of the striking employees is that some 2,37,000 vacant posts in the government be filled up, contract employees be regularised and the superannuation age be increased to 60 years from 58 years.

Vishwas Katkar, convenor of the committee of some 35 unions of state government employees, semi-government employees and teachers, said the strike will continue on Friday "because of the stubborn attitude of the government."

"Our strike will continue until the Maharashtra government implements the Old Pension Scheme. We do not accept the three-member committee appointed by the government (to look into the issue)," he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer and activist Gunratan Sadavarte filed an application in the Bombay High Court seeking immediate withdrawal of the strike.

Patients in government hospitals were suffering because of the strike which has also overlapped with board exams, he said. The application could be heard on Friday.

In Akola, union leader Rajendra Nerkar said MLAs who serve for five years get pension, but the employees who serve for 30-35 years do not get any pension which is gross injustice.

In Nashik, striking employees took out a huge rally from Golf Club ground to Shivaji Road.

(With PTI input)

Also read- Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis defends wife Amruta in Rs 1 crore bribe allegations by designer 

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