From Our Correspondent
TURA, Sep 18: Employees of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) on Monday delayed their call for an indefinite strike after assurances were made by the Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Council, Albinush Marak, to release at least two months’ salary by the end of the week.
As is now widely known, the crisis in salary payments, which has already crossed a decade and counting, is now gone into its 31st month for employees.
According to the employees, the last time they were paid was in the month of June this year and that too, a month’s salary with the promise being made to clear more dues soon.
Salaries have been cleared intermittently for employees mostly when the fear of agitation grips the GHADC offices. With the Council being the most important local institution for the region, even a day’s shutdown would mean a huge loss for Garo Hills and its people.
Employees, under the aegis of the Non Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA), have been continuing the fight in the face of the worst economic crisis, at least for the employees, that seems to never end.
Many stories which include parents not being able to clear their ward’s dues, employees working part time to make ends meet, some having to delay medical treatment over non-payment of salary, many not getting groceries due to overdrawing their shop credit are indicative of the situation being faced by the employees.
A meeting was convened on Monday afternoon near the GHADC offices in Tura by employees who sought a way forward. They had earlier threatened to go on an indefinite strike if their salaries remained pending.
However, during the meeting, the CEM joined in and sought until the end of the week to clear at least two months’ dues of the employees.
“Following his assurance, we have decided to wait until the end of the week for the release of our salary. If this issue is still not resolved, we will begin our indefinite agitation from Monday next week. We will wait to see if they can keep their promise and pay us at least what they have assured,” informed president of the NGEA, Brithen Sangma.