A section of the employees of the Government of Kerala has declared an indefinite strike from 08 Jan 2013. Their cause is genuine but means totally unjustified. So here is a petition I have sent to the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court to declare the strike illegal and ensure that the rights of the citizens to get the services due to them from the government are not hampered or delayed.
P M Ravindran
2/18, 'Aathira', Sivapuri, Kalpathy-678003
Tele: 0491-2576042; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
File: Petn/kerhc-strike080113-040113 04 Jan 2013
The Chief Justice Through e mail at email@example.com
High Court of Kerala
PETITION TO DECLARE STRIKE BY GOVERNEMNT EMPLOYEES ILLEGAL
1. It is understood from reports in the media that a section of the government employees will be on an indefinte strike from 08 Jan 2013. The reason for the strike is learnt to be their opposition to introduction of contributory pension.
2. The Supreme Court of India has held that pension is a right because it is deferred wages. However, the court has not laid down any guidelines on the quantum or modus of payment of this pension. Hence the legality or otherwise of the government decision to introduce contributory pension is left for the judiciary to decide. But there is no gainsaying the fact that the principle has to be applied universally. It just cannot be limited to government employees. Strictly speaking the government would have done better to have introduced this scheme for the ministers, MPs and MLAs before forcing it upon the employees.
3. More importantly, the services to be delivered by the government to the citizens are amoung the most essential services. It can even be termed the most essential service because there is no alternate source for such services. So while democracy admits the right to protest, government employees cannot protest by striking work, or in other words by refusing to deliver the services due to the citizens. Amoung the many means to protest available to them are working beyond working hours or even working indefinitley or staging protest through dharnas out of office hours.
4. While the government has declared dias non (no work, no pay) for the striking employees this is practically a fraud being perpetrated on the gullible citizens because invariabley as a condition for terminating the strike the government always gives in to the demand for withdrawing all cases against the striking employees as well as waiving the dias non condition.
5. For reasons given above, you are requested to declare strikes by government employees illegal and protect the rights of ordinary citizens to the services due from the government without interruption or delay.
(P M Ravindran)