You may lose jobs: Mann warns staff against strike, invokes ESMA till Oct 3

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‘You may lose jobs’: Mann warns staff against strike, invokes ESMA till Oct 3

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, in a stern warning to the staff of the Deputy Commissioners’ offices and revenue officials (patwaris and kanungos), today said those proceeding on a pen-down strike could lose their jobs.

Special Chief Secretary (Revenue) KAP Sinha, using powers conferred under the East Punjab Essential Services (Maintenance) Act (ESMA), directed all revenue officials, including patwaris, kanungos, circle revenue officers and DC office employees in all districts, not to leave their place of posting till October 31 or till further orders. Any violation shall attract strict penal action, he said.

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Underlining that the government would not tolerate any indiscipline or blackmail, the CM said anyone going on strike would be immediately placed under suspension. The warning comes in the wake of planned pen-down strikes by the Punjab State DC Office Employees Union and the Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab, separately. The DC office employees have proposed a strike from September 11 to 13 while the Patwar Union, along with the Revenue Kanungo Association, has proposed a strike on September 1. In a tweet, Mann pointed out, “The government will not allow the common man to be inconvenienced because of the strike by the staff. There are hundreds of unemployed youth looking for jobs. Employees are free to go on a pen-down strike but the government will decide whether the pen is to be given back to them or not.”

He asked employees not to stand in favour of their “corrupt colleagues”. President of the Revenue Patwar Union, Punjab, Harveer Singh said, “We were prepared for a meeting with a senior officer in the CM’s office tomorrow. However, this strange order has come today. We are demanding full salary for patwaris recruited last year and a fair probe into a specific case where the Vigilance Bureau has wrongly implicated our colleagues”.

The Patwar Union and the Revenue Kanungo Association are demanding that a “false case” registered by the Vigilance against their members be withdrawn. President of the Punjab State DC Office Employees Union, Tejinder Singh, said. “It is unfair on the part of the CM to have threatened to kick us out of our jobs even without meeting us. We are only demanding due promotions and filling of vacant posts. Our families will join us on the streets in case the government takes any unilateral decision without talking to us.”

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