PHE workers’ strike hits water supply to Jammu

Seek pending wages, changes in departmental promotion process; regular employees join stir

Sumit Hakhoo

Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 26

The drinking water supply to the Jammu region has been hit for the past 24 hours as thousands of the public health engineering (PHE) department daily earners and regular employees went on a daylong strike.

They have been demanding pending wages and changes in the departmental promotion committee (DPC) process. A daylong strike was calledby the employees’ unions in the Jammu region, which affected lakhs of people.

“We took the strike decision as the administration has failed to release the pending wages of daily earners for the last five years. Even the DPC of the regular employees is not been carried out on time due to which there is resentment among them. Even the regular employees have extended their support to the daily earners,” said Jeevan Singh, district president, PHE Employees’ Union.

The unions have also warned to intensify their agitation in the coming weeks if the PHE department and the state administration continues its apathetic attitude towards the workers who had been denied regular wages and regularisation despite the announcements made by the previous PDP-BJP government.

“Despite repeated assurances, the government has befooled the daily earners for years. We are without wages for the last five years. This is the biggest human rights violation,” said Tanvir Hussain, president, J&K ITI, CP Daily Wagers Workers’ Union.

Meanwhile, PHE department Chief Engineer AK Gandotra said the government would take strict action against the regular employees who went on strike. “We are considering the issues of the daily earners but the regular employees should not stop the water supply. It is against the rules. The issue has been raised with the union representatives and we have warned them not to indulge in such practices in future.”

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