Government workers in Srinagar, Kashmir on strike for over six years

Srinigar strike May 28 2014

Could someone in Srinagar, Kashmir tell us if this is the same group of government workers who’ve been protesting for the past nearly six years (if not more) with no resolution of their demands?

There’s been police violence every step of the way, including the use of water cannons spewing toxic purple dye. The water cannons cause injuries to eyes, internal organs, & broken bones, & the toxic chemicals mean skin & respiratory problems.

Workers are demanding payment of arrears in wages, that all temporary contract employees be made permanent, & to raise the retirement age by two years since India has no social security net. These are fairly modest demands that don’t require a revolution & certainly shouldn’t take over a decade to achieve.

If India didn’t have a fairly combative labor movement & if government workers in Kashmir weren’t so intransigent this situation would be understandable. In most countries the labor officialdom is quite–let’s be frank–massively compromised & derives perks for enforcing labor peace. Mostly they sit on militancy & bring members out periodically for one-day strikes to blow off steam, not to actually exercise power. Is that what’s going on in Srinagar at the expense of these government workers?

Look at these cops going after the strikers with truncheons! These government workers have stood alone long enough. Bring out the battalions of labor to demand “an injury to one is an injury to all!” & settle this strike once & for all.

(Photo by Mukhtar Khan/AP)

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