Irate Power workers warn of agitation
Dimapur, February 18
Workers comprising the All Nagaland Electricity Field Workers Association (ANEFWA) has served an ultimatum of 30 days to the chief engineer of the Power department to clear pending ‘TBS’ pay and arrears due to the field workers. The association has alleged that the department has violated standing orders of the high court to the department to clear the payments due for the workers.The ANEFWA has cautioned that the workers would launch statewide agitations as well as press legal proceedings if the department fails to take heed.
“The association is compelled to submit this ultimatum and direct you to award the TBS of pay from the date when the same bonus due and to pay the past arrear till date in total compliance f the honorable court’s order within a grace period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this ultimatum…”, the association stated in a press release issued to the media Tuesday. “.. failing which it is hereby made clear that this association have resolved to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the respondents responsible in the matters personally on one hand and stage in statewide agitation to the extent of tools down on the other hand. Enough is enough, ” ANEFWA has warned in a representative served to the Chief Engineer of Power Department.
According to the association, the Kohima bench of the Guwahati High Court ruled the matter in favor of the workers on August 2012, and directed the ‘respondents’ to pay the ‘TBS’ of pay within three months. A second litigation pressed by the workers also saw the court rule in favor of the workers again and directed the department to comply within three months, the ANEFWA said in the press release.
However, despite the clear direction from the high court, the association said, 6 months have lapsed and the pay have yet to be released to the workers. The association has charged the department’s officials of being insolent and disrespectful of the court.
“Having seen the workloads involved, the association has waited unwearyingly taking a lenient view. However, your authority and the clerks serving under your authority, in spite of your repeated requested have taunted us enough passively by not discharging the duty called for by the matter ad justice have long been denied/delayed and caused us to lose our patience that circumstance ourselves to the extent of submitting this ultimatum,” the association explained in one good length.
The field workers have questioned the department’s officials for the apathy shown to the workers. “Where is the money meant for payment of TBS of pay to us? Is it justified for those sitting in the arm chair to enjoy themselves and for ourselves to suffer not even being paid our dues which is legally ours?”
The association said that some of the workers were entitled the benefit as far as 1995 and some have even already retired without receiving their benefits. ‘Is this what a democratic government for? Is our state not a mentor and guarantor of rights to its citizens,” the association said.