Press Statement

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), now in session at New Delhi, has issued the following statement:

Support for Kerala State Government Employees Strike

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) extends its full support to the strike of the 5 lakh state government employees in Kerala who have launched a united struggle against the UDF government’s decision to withdraw existing facilities and remuneration. The indefinite strike which has now gone on for 26 days has seen an unprecedented unity of all sections of the employees.

The UDF government has decided to implement a scheme whereby 80,000 employees would be retrenched within two years. 2,644 schools are to be closed down by declaring them as uneconomic. The government has also decided to give away with other benefits, including cutting down of pension benefits.

The strike is a significant protest against the new round of attack directed against government employees which have been initiated by the Central government as the "second generation of economic reforms" which is being pursued by the state government.

The Central Committee of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the use of ESMA by the Antony government in its efforts to suppress the strike. 400 employees have so far been arrested and jailed under this draconian law. The Chief Minister has refused to conduct negotiations with the striking employees.

The Central Committee notes the widespread support for the strike including the call of the trade unions for a general strike in the state on March 5. The Central Committee appeals to all democratic organisations and parties in the country to extend full support to this struggle. The Central Committee demands that the Chief Minister immediately hold talks with the employees organisations for resolving the dispute and end to the use of repressive measures like EMSA.