Strike by Governmental Workers in Bihar

About 10 lakhs regular, contract, out-source and incentive workers in Bihar held a successful symbolic strike on 29-30 June 2017 against the Bihar government’s implementation of the 7th Pay Commission from 1 April ’17 instead of 1 January ’17 and the theft by the government of the 15 months’ arrears due to the workers. The workers had a 13-point charter of demands including payment of wages and all other facilities to long-serving contract, out-source and incentive workers as per the Supreme Court verdict and regularization of these workers. The strike was organized by the Bihar State Non-Gazetted Workers Association (Gope group), the Bihar State Contract-Honorarium Workers Joint Front and other organizations. Many organizations of Gazetted officials lent moral support to this strike and the doctors’ organization Bihar Health Service Association gave active support.

Earlier on 24 April the Joint Front had held a protest in front of the CM and warned that if the 13-point demands were not met they would hold this joint strike; if the demands were still not fulfilled an indefinite strike would be held and the government would be responsible for the consequences.

8 Block level Conventions were organized between 14 and 24 June prior to the strike and a torchlight rally was held across Bihar in which thousands of workers participated.
The impact of the strike can be gauged from the fact that many Collectorates including Motihari remained locked and most officials avoided coming to their offices. The workers held meetings in front of the offices and raised slogans on both days of the strike against the anti-people, anti-worker and anti-national policies of the Modi and Nitish governments.

Secretariat personnel kept away from the strike although they had participated in the earlier protests on 24 April. The participating contract/honorarium workers included Rasoiyas, ASHA, PM Awas Yojana, water workers, farmer advisors, Block conveners, AIDS control workers, literacy motivators and conveners, PSC workers, IT and ICDS workers, women supervisors, agricultural coordinators, electrical franchise workers, seasonal and daily wage earners, Kasturba Gandhi Girls’ School teachers and workers, contract engineers, nurses and para-medical workers, Vikas Mitra, Anganwadi and mid-day meal workers. The workers have warned of an indefinite and intensified strike if the government does not meet their demands. It is noteworthy that the government is not issuing directives even on the non-financial demands in the 13-point charter of demands.