JCC leadership, employees released on bail

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SRINAGAR: Over 90 government employees, including the leadership of Joint Consultative Committee (JCC)–an amalgam of employees’ unions who were taken under preventive detention by the government were released on bail on Friday evening.

Immediately after his release from central Jail Srinagar Abdul Qayoom Wani, Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) chairman and JCC leader pledged to take the employees’ struggle to its logical conclusion. 

Wani said: “I strongly condemn the government action against the protesting employees in the state.  Let me make it clear to the people at the helm, that employees won’t succumb to any pressure, threats or any other dire consequences.”

The JCC leader appealed employees to remain steadfast on their ‘genuine’ demands and in no circumstances allow the government to break their resolve. “I pledge not to act as a mute spectator but to strive for fulfillment of our long pending demands. The only thing I need from employees is that they should remain united to fight for their own cause,” Wani said.

Sources said the JCC leadership will address a press conference at around 2:30 pm on Saturday. 

Pertinently, the State Government has already made it clear that there will be no softening of stand unless the protesting employees shun path of confrontation. However, the government had extended an olive branch saying that its doors are always open for employees if they want an amicable solution to their problems.

The state Cabinet which met here on Thursday had discussed the issue of employee threadbare. However, sources had said that almost all the ministers who attended the meet were unanimous in not showing any flexibility unless the protesting employees soften their stand. The Cabinet was also of the opinion that it was the turn of protesting employees to approach the government if they really want to break the ice.

The Cabinet had also recalled that enough of opportunities were extended to employees’ leadership which was allegedly deemed as the weakness of the government. “We have to run the government and how can we let our people to suffer for want of government services. We don’t want any sort of confrontation with employees and this has been our stand from the day one. But we cannot also accept if our soft approach vis-à-vis resolving the employees’ problems is taken as our weakness. We have to deal with every crisis with all options available to us,” a senior minister who attended the Cabinet meet on Thursday was quoted as saying. 

Among its various demands, JCC seeks enhancement in retirement age from 58 to 60 years, removal of pay anomalies and regularization of the daily-wage and casual labourers. 

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