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Protesting MSSA employees observe black Friday

Six MSSA employees to work wearing black bands on arms and mouths from today to protest non-payment of dues by school body

Nearly 20 days after the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) assured six of its protesting employees that their demands will be fulfilled, the employees have decided to wear black bands on their arms and mouths while working today as a sign of protest against the school sports’ body.

Rajaram Gawde (extreme left), Jayesh Parmar, Dattatray Tambadkar, Rakesh Gaud, Ravi Kahar and Anthony D’Souza (extreme right) during the hunger strike in January
Rajaram Gawde (extreme left), Jayesh Parmar, Dattatray Tambadkar, Rakesh Gaud, Ravi Kahar and Anthony D’Souza (extreme right) during the hunger strike in January

After the six employees — Rajaram Gawde, Jayesh Parmar, Dattatray Tambadkar, Rakesh Gaud, Ravi Kahar and Anthony D’Souza — resorted to a hunger strike on January 20, MSSA president Fr Jude Rodrigues had assured them that their demands would be fulfilled within two weeks. However, the employees are protesting again after MSSA general secretary Sebastian Fernandes refused to accept the letter that contains the details of their demands.

“When we had a meeting with Fr Jude on January 20, he assured us to pay arrears that are pending since 2008 as per the 5th Pay Commission. We did try to submit the calculations to Sebastian (Fernandes) but he rejected our letter several times. That’s why we have decided to work under protest from tomorrow,” said Jayesh Parmar, a peon at MSSA.

Meanwhile, Anthony D’Souza, a junior clerk, said that instead of giving them their dues, the 121-year-old school body deducted a day’s salary.

False promises
“When we went on a hunger strike they agreed to accept our demands. But we didn’t anticipate what the MSSA was up to. They deducted a day’s salary. From tomorrow, we will not give up so easily and plan to not talk to them until they agree to give us our dues,” he said.

Meanwhile, MSSA general secretary Fernandes explained that since the disgruntled employees had not followed their instructions, their letter was not accepted.

“In our last meeting with them we had informed them to give us a detailed salary statement that we could put forward before the executive committee meeting to be held later this month.

“But they have given me a history of dues which are pending. I cannot accept whatever they write and give,” said Fernandes.

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