Gorkhatimes

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Casual staff on fast from Monday

Posted by Ramesh Khati on September 12, 2009

Darjeeling, Sept. 11(The Telegraph): The DGHC is likely to come to a standstill with 8,000 contractual workers deciding to start a mass hunger strike indefinitely across the hills from Monday to demand regularisation of their jobs.

Machendra Subba, the president of Janmukti Asthai Karmachari Sangathan of which the contractual workers are members, said: “On June 9, the state government had promised us that the process of regularisation would be started in three months and during the interim period, our salaries would be increased. With the three-month period over, we have decided to take this extreme step.”

The contractual workers have been in service for the past 21 years and draw a monthly salary ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000.

The hunger strike will be organised in front of the district magistrate’s office, the Lewis Jubilee Complex, the DGHC administrative building in Darjeeling, and on the subdivisional office premises in Kalimpong and Kurseong. “One group will also stay at Pintal Village in Siliguri where DGHC administrator, B.L. Meena, usually stays,” said Subba. The Hill Employees’ Association and the Janmukti Karmachari Sangatan have also decided to extend support to the hunger strike.

Meena said: “We are still trying our best to solve the issue. I will be leaving for Calcutta on Sunday. At times, government processes do take time.”

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