ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tamil Nadu-Falling Yield of Paternalism

Nadu government would make the strike by the workers of the Simpson group of companies into a state versus centre issue. This was Chief Minister Karunanidhi's last card, so to say. Earlier, having found (hat the overwhelming majority of the 16,000 or so workers of the group were (in spite of the violence unleashed against them) behind the strike called by the joint action committee consisting of leaders of par- ties other than the DMK, the Chief Minister had sought to adopt a mixed carrot-and-stick approach. He announced on Tuesday the state government's decision declaring the Simpson group of companies an essential service under Section 119 of the Defence of India Rules. This rendered the strike illegal and placed the workers under a statutory compulsion to return to work. At the same time, Karunanidhi announced the appointment of a court of inquiry, consisting of a judge of the Madras High Court, to go in to the "grievances of the workers". The next day the Chief Minister announced two further concessions. First, he offered to release all workers arrested during the strike, except those facing trial on specific charges. Even the cases of the latter he said he would examine. Second, he said he had persuaded the management of the group of companies to take back 288 dismissed workers and revoke the suspension of 37 others.

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