The government has asked all its employees not to participate in any protest or strike, warning of "consequences" if they indulge in them.
The assertion comes in the wake of district-level rallies planned to be organised across the country on Tuesday by the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) under the banner of 'Joint Forum for Restoration of old pension scheme (OPS)'.
The instructions issued by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) to secretaries of all central government departments on Monday prohibit government servants from participating in any form of strike, including mass casual leave, go-slow, sit-down etc or any action that abet any form of strike in violation of Rule 7 of the CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964.
"There is no statutory provision empowering the employees to go on strike. The Supreme Court has also agreed in several judgments that going on a strike is a grave misconduct under the conduct rules and that misconduct by the government employees is required to be dealt with in accordance with the law," the order said.
Any employee going on strike in any form, including protest, would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action, it said.
"The central government employees under your ministry/departments may, therefore, be suitably informed of the aforesaid instructions under the conduct rules issued by this department and other regulations upheld by the Hon'ble supreme court. This may be dissuaded from resorting to strike in any form including protest," it asked all the central government departments.
Instructions may be issued not to sanction casual Leave or other kind of leave to employees if applied for, during the period of the proposed protest/strike and ensure that the willing employees are allowed hindrance free entry into the office premises, the order said.
"For this purpose, Joint Secretary (adminstration) may be entrusted with the task of coordinating with security personnel. Suitable contingency plan may also be worked out to carry out the various functions of the ministry/department," it said.
In case the employees go on dharna/protest/strike, a report indicating the number of employees who took part in the proposed dharna/protest/strike may be conveyed to the DoPT on the evening of the day, the order said.
A Joint Consultative Machinery for central government employees is already functioning. This scheme has been introduced with the object of promoting harmonious relations and for securing the greatest measure of co-operation between the government, in its capacity as employer, and the general body of its employees in matters of common concern, and with the object of increasing the efficiency of the public service, it said.
"The JCM at the different levels have been discussing issues brought before it and the consultative process is still functioning with the active cooperation from the staff side," the order said.