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IT may get essential service status in WB

November 10, 2006 16:38 IST
With West Bengal fast emerging as an IT destination, veteran CPI-M leader Jyoti Basu on Friday said his party was considering whether the industry should be treated as an essential service.

"Nothing has been finalised as yet. It has been suggested for now that the IT sector should be treated as an essential service," he said after a meeting of the CPI-M state secretariat.

"If IT employees are to go on strike at all, the norms followed in essential services during the strike should be adhered to," he said.

Basu's comment will be a boost to Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's keenness to keep the IT industry out of the purview of strikes because of his initiatives to bring more investments to West Bengal.

The comments came a couple of days after the CPI-M's labour arm CITU alleged that IT firms were flouting labour laws and said there could be strikes in the IT industry on the ground that it was not classified an essential service.

CITU made the allegation after top brass of the IT industry held a closed door meeting here on Tuesday to discuss how its move to establish worker's rights in the sector would affect their operations.

They expressed apprehension at the possibility of coercive action after the formation of an IT workers' union later this month.

Asked whether IT would be included within the purview of the December 14 nationwide general strike called by Left trade unions and organisations, Basu said the decision on this would be taken by CITU on December 12.

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