The Kerala high court on Monday barred government employees from taking part in the trade union-led 48-hour national strike. It directed the government to issue an order on the matter as soon as possible. Government employees do not fall under the definition of workers, according to the court, and their participation in the strike is against service rules.
The employees’ participation in the strike is illegal, according to a division bench led by Chief Justice S Mani Kumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly, which was hearing a petition filed by activist Chandrachoodan Nair. They will not be paid for the days they do not work, according to the statement. The government was ordered by the court to declare no work, no pay. Employees who were absent in such cases were previously considered to be on leave and were paid in full.
Chaly filed a motion with the court, requesting that the strike’s participation by government employees be declared unconstitutional. He accused the government of encouraging employees to skip work. He went on to say that the company will eventually change the rules to ensure that all employees were paid in full. The court ruled that the government could not pay employees who stayed home during the strike.