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Old Pension Scheme (OPS) Strike from May 1st Demanding Restoration by Government Employees

Government Employees Set to Strike from May 1 Demanding Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (OPS)

In a significant development, a coalition of trade unions and associations representing approximately 28 lakh employees of the Union government, including those from the Railways and Central Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), along with over three crore employees and teachers with the State governments, has announced an indefinite strike starting from May 1. The primary demand behind this collective action is the restoration of the old pension scheme (OPS).

The decision to proceed with the strike was made unanimously by the steering committee of the Joint Forum For Restoration of Old Pension Scheme (JFROPS). Strike notices are set to be served on March 19 to the respective administrations.

Mr. Shiv Gopal Mishra, the convener of JFROPS and the general secretary of All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF), expressed that the strike call came after discussions with the Union government on the issue failed to yield any positive outcome.

Efforts were made to engage with the government through letters addressed to the Prime Minister and Finance Minister, as well as in Joint Consultative Machinery meetings. However, with the government's disregard for their demands, the employees feel compelled to resort to an indefinite strike.

Strike ballots were conducted across various departments, PSUs, and the Railways, garnering widespread support from government employees who have patiently waited for 20 years, expressing their grievances through peaceful protest programs.

Mr. C. Srikumar, the general secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation, highlighted the discrimination faced by government employees in terms of pension benefits compared to other sectors. He emphasized that the strike is a result of the government's insensitivity towards their legitimate concerns.

All major unions, except the pro-government Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), have pledged their participation in the strike. When questioned about the potential impact of the model code of conduct during elections, Mr. Mishra reiterated their stance, stressing the importance of discussing the OPS issue during this crucial time.

The impending strike underscores the deep-rooted frustration among government employees and their unwavering determination to fight for their rights and welfare. As the strike date approaches, all eyes will be on the government's response and efforts to address the employees' demands.

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