Bengal nullifies unions in state jails
Kolkata, July 21: The West Bengal government has nullified union activities by the employees in the state jails to improve prevailing work culture there.
The state Cabinet has given its nod to this effect, following which a notification was issued recently to prohibit union activities in any of the correctional homes.
"No activities (are going) to be allowed in uniformed services at any correctional home premises," read the notification issued on Thursday last.
According to a senior official of the state Prisons department, from now on, "no prison establishment could be used for any sort of union activities", as per the notification.
"Unions will not be allowed to put up signboards or any sort of notice inside prison premises," the official said quoting the notification.
The government order has also banned all meetings, agitations, demonstrations and deputations by the unions inside the correctional homes in the state.
"No employees should be extended the privilege of exemption from routine/administration transfer" only because they are members of the union, it added.
It must be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government had in 2012 initiated a move to ban unions in the state police force. However, a single bench of the Calcutta High Court had struck the order after it was challenged following which the state government moved the division bench of the High Court.
"Unions became parallel functionaries in the correctional homes in the state making it difficult for everyday operations there. It's a wise decision to improve the work culture there," the official of the Prisons department said.
The state cabinet had at its last meeting given its nod to formation of the "West Bengal Correctional Services Welfare Board" to look after the interest of the employees.
"The Board will be supervised by a DIG rank officer. It will work for the benefits of the employees of the correctional homes," the official said.