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Trade unions oppose proposed amendment to ESMA



The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and all its affiliated trade unions, on Friday, vehemently condemned the proposed amendment to Goa Essential Services and Maintenance Act, and appealed to the government to withdraw it in toto.

AITUC general secretary Christopher Fonseca urged all the working people of the state, including government employees and all those employed in semi-government corporations and autonomous bodies to oppose this “authoritarian amendment proposed to the Goa Essential Services and Maintenance Act in its present form primarily aimed at snatching the fundamental and democratic rights of the working class in Goa.”

Addressing the media persons along with Suhaas Naik and Prasanna Uttagi, Fonseca said that mostly all the BJP-ruled states have launched a massive attack on the rights of the working people across the country, including the government employees.

The right to strike and protest is being systematically taken away by the BJP- ruled governments, he added.

“The government is all out to curb protests, demonstrations and strikes which are essentially the fundamental and democratic right of every citizen including government employees, semi- government employees as enshrined in the Constitution of India,” he added.

He said that the central government notification on ESMA provides a penalty for going on illegal strike, instigating to participate in the strike and giving financial aid to illegal strike.

However, the Goa government has shown super enthusiasm by proposing amendment to sections (4), (5), (6) and (9) thereby proposing to increase the period of imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years for instigating and providing financial aid to strike and participation in strike besides proposing to make these offences non-bailable which reveals the real authoritarian mindset of this government, he alleged.

AITUC will meet the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant with the proposal and a major meeting of all affected workers would be convened
in future.

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