Calling the move to freeze the dearness allowance for public sector employees “hypocrisy of the tallest order”, The Centre of Indian Trade Unions called upon the central PSU employees to resist the “nefarious design of freezing and forfeiting legitimate DA.”
In a statement issued on Saturday, CITU said that the move comes at a time when prices of essential commodities continue to rise. It called out the “atrocious onslaught on the legitimate rights and dues of the central public sector employees(Executives and non-unionised supervisors among the non-executives) by way of freezing the Dearness Allowance payable to them till next 30th June 2021 (sic).”
On November 19, the Department of Public Enterprises, under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises issued an office memorandum, the subject of which was “Freezing of Dearness Allowance to Employees of Central Public Sector Enterprises...”.
The memo said that in light of COVID-19, “it has been decided that additional installments of Dearness Allowance payable to Employees of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) drawing pay as per 2017, 2007, 1997, 1992 & 1987 IDA pay revision guidelines, due from 1.10.2020 shall not be paid.”
“No arrears for the period from 01.10.2020 till 30.06.2021 shall be paid,” it added.
The CITU said that the “atrocious design must be fought back resolutely” and that given that the government, “totally biased against the employees and workers” would not hesitate to launch a similar “attack” on other employees.
“The freezing of Dearness Allowance and its forfeiture is being justified on ground of ‘crisis arising out of COVID-19’ meaning thereby the financial strain and hardship of the CPSEs. At the same time the Govt through respective ministries, is not hesitating to extract maximum even from most financially strained CPSEs by forcing them to pay special-dividend, buy-back their own shares and numerous other means (sic),” the CITU statement said.
“Thus the prices will continue to rise and corporates and big traders/business will continue to fleece people and workers, but the legitimate dearness allowance will stand frozen, rather looted and all due arrears will be forfeited. This is what the Modi Regime stands for,” it added.
The central unions said that “looting the employees” is a “hallmark” of the present dispensation at the Centre and the move was one such action.
“CITU vehemently condemns such atrocious decision of the Modi Govt and calls upon the public sector employees to unitedly oppose and resist such nefarious design of freezing and forfeiting legitimate DA. As an immediate response, a befitting reply has to be given to such ugly moves through making the countrywide general strike on November 26, 2020 a massive success in all CPSEs. And thereafter, united resistance has to be mounted in all CPSEs against the implementation of the unilateral freezing process through industry-based action as well as through legal avenues,” the statement added.