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

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Calcutta Diary

Calcutta Diary YOU would come to think that, all of a sudden, conscientiousness has begun to run rlot, and a new association has come into being; Society for the Prevention of Overtime Payments to Low-Grade Employees, Members of Parliament, racketeering university pro- lessors, retired civil servants installed in sinecure positions in private companies presumably for faithful services rendered in the past, newspaper editors whose salaries 'and perquisites together would certainly exceed ten thousand rupees per month, have banded themselves together in an informal concordat. All other national problems can wait, hut the problem of what is being quainty described as 'the rising spiral of labour-hours' must be tackled at all costs, otherwise the economy will lie in ruins. The malingering industrial worker, the trant bank clerk, the discontented technician in the Indian Airlines, the wretch that is the class IV employee in a government office, and the rest of the species must he put down with a firm hand: the quantum of public money they are filching under the excuse of working beyond stipulated hours must be cut back drastically, morality must he restored in the public domain. In some of the nationalised undertakings, it is being pointed out in an emotion-laden voice, the canker of overtime allowances has reached scandalous proportions: the aggregate payments under this particular head have risen by as much as 150 to 200 per cent in the course of the past half-a-dozen years. The employers of the world, in the public as well as the private sector, must therefore unite. They have suffered long, the nation has suffered long, and enough is enough. This far and no further, is the message that must now be handed down to the work-shirking, money- grabbing employees. A remarkable solidarity of sentiment is discernible on the issue; there is a closing of ranks among the Swatantra MPs and the committed civil servants, the pontificating newspaper editors and the responsible- sounding academic: on to the barricade, down with overtime bills.

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