GUWAHATI, Feb 21 � The State Government has, in exercise of its powers conferred under Section 10 (3) of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947, prohibited with immediate effect, the continuance of the strike declared by the management of the Sadou Guwahati Batori Kakot Hawker Santha since February 16.
The move comes after the dispute between the management of the hawkers� association and the All Guwahati Newspaper Agents Association was referred to the Industrial Tribunal, Guwahati, for adjudication.
The Industrial Tribunal will see whether the workmen represented by the hawkers� body are justified in resorting to strike in support of their five-point charter of demands, and if so, what relief they are entitled to.
The main demand of the hawkers is enhancement of their commission from the existing 27 per cent to 35 per cent.
Later, addressing a press conference, office-bearers of the All Guwahati Newspaper Agents� Association termed the hawkers� demands as �unreasonable� and said that the present rate of commission to the hawkers at 27 per cent was sufficient, and that the matter of enhanced commission for air surcharge for national dailies should be taken up by the hawkers with the newspapers concerned themselves.
�The demands of the hawkers are unjustified on all counts. Moreover, they cannot go on strike because a case has been pending in the office of the Assistant Labour Commissioner,� Paban Ali Saikia of the newspaper agents� body said.
Meanwhile, following a request by the hawkers� association, a citizens� committee headed by veteran journalist DN Chakravartty, president of the Assam Senior Citizens� Association, will meet as mediator the representatives of the hawkers, agents and newspaper owners at Guwahati Press Club at 11 am tomorrow to deliberate on the issue and resolve the stalemate.
The committee comprises senior citizens like Tabiul Hussain, PK Mahanta, Khanindra Chandra Das and Jagat Bora besides journalists Naba Thakuria, Rupam Baruah, Ronen Goswami and Hiten Mahanta, and Prof Sunil Pawan Baruah and Prof Deven Dutta.