GNLF union begins strike at UBKV

Statesman News Service
KALIMPONG, Aug. 22. — Karmachari Sangathan, a GNLF-affiliated committee of the employees of Uttar Banga Krishi Vishwavidyalya (UBKV), today began an indefinite strike for the third time in less than two months to protest against alleged non-payment of arrears.
The strike will be observed in all sub-stations — Seed Farm, Dalapchand and Pedong.
The general secretary of the union, Mr SK Khawas, said that the strike has been observed against the non-payment of pending hill compensatory allowance (HCA) and winter allowance (WA).
“The UBKV here functions in a ridiculous manner. The HCA has been blocked for almost two years now. Similarly we haven’t received our WA since 1999”, Mr Khawas alleged. He further alleged that despite several requests the university officials have not paid heed to their problems. The UBKV engages more than 165 persons at present.
The strike is the third in less than two months. The GNLF alleged that despite directives by the state to give preference to hill people for jobs at the UBKV, all the vacant posts for scientists have been filled by outsiders. “Officials of the UBKV have always discriminated against the hill people. The university has been misusing crores of rupees released by the Centre. Besides they have never investigated into serious problems relating to the cultivation of orange, large cardamom and ginger — the production of which is falling every year”, the GNLF alleged.
Speaking over telephone from Cooch Behar, the university registrar, Dr Biman Sarkar, said the state government has already been informed of the payment of arrears. “We will discuss the matter”, Mr Sarkar said.

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