State employees strike cripples work in Kashmir

Srinagar, March 9 (IANS) Work in state-run institutions across Jammu and Kashmir came to a standstill Tuesday as over four lakh government employees went on a five-day strike demanding full implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations.

Apart from implementation of the pay commission’s recommendations, the employees are demanding that the retirement age be raised from the present 58 years to 60 years.

The strike, which began Tuesday morning, completely paralyzed work in all government offices across the state.

Educational institutions that opened here Monday after the three-month winter break also remained closed on the first day of the employees’ strike.

The state government has held several rounds of negotiations with employees’ unions in the state and has assured them of payment of the arrears, due since early 2006, once the state’s financial position improves. The government has also said that it will consider the enhancement in their retirement age.

The government had Monday invited the leaders of the employees unions for talks. The employees, however, rejected the offer.

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