Employees back to work, administration back to normal

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Panaji, Jun 17 (UNI) Goa administration was back to normal today after a four-day let up with the employees resuming duties by giving up their indefinite pen-down strike amid threat of facing the dismissal under the provisions of the Essential Services Maintenance Act.

The employees last night announced suspension of strike demanding parity in wages with the government acting tough invoking the provisions of the ESMA besides saying ''no work, no pay''.

The talks with the Goa Government Employees Association, representing 45,000 members, failed yesterday with the government terming ''illegal and far-fetched'' the demand for fixing the sixth pay commission wages on the basis of the nationally agreed upgraded wages with effect from March 31, 2001.

The authorities maintained that the government had to impose fresh taxes and forego developmental works for parting with around Rs 800 crores it had to pay for meeting the revised scales as per demand besides Rs 300 crore annual expenditure from this current fiscal against the Rs 1,750 crore budget estimate.

With differences surfacing last night between two groups of employees, one in favour and the other against the strike, the association announced staying of the strike with immediate effect and going in for further negotiations today.

The government had however directed the police to keep vigil at all vital installations including power and water works and public counters as a precautionary measures to avoid inconvenience to the general public.

It had also threatened to dismiss the temporary or permanent employees who failed to resume duties in the interest of the state besides prosecuting them according to the law.

The government had warned the employees through advertisements in the local newspapers against observing strike with the invocation of the ESMA.

UNI BM GR AKJ CS1528

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