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From Our Correspondent | Tura, Sep 28, 2018: 

After three days of protest, the employees of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) on Friday called off their indefinite strike following the issuance of legal and termination of service threats  from GHADC CEM.

The employees had been protesting against the non payment of salaries for over 15 months amid the Council authorities’ request to call off the protest. The employees today sent intimation on their calling off the stir and will resume work coming Monday.

Yesterday CEM of GHADC, Dipul Marak had threatened legal action against the leaders of the protest going to the extent of expulsion from work, which to a huge extent may have prompted the decision to call off the protest.

Work within the GHADC had almost come to a standstill and revenue collection, land documentation and official works halted during the duration of the protest.

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Today, Council authorities had issued an ultimatum through a notification warning that unless the striking employees returned to work by Oct 1, Monday, executive body members of the Non-Gazetted Employees Association (NGEA) would face termination and the association dissolved.

“Legal course of action will be taken if the non-cooperation movement continues even after dissolution of the executive body of the NGEA,” stated the notification.

The decision to call of the strike came late afternoon after a meeting held between the deputy CEM, Dolly K Sangma and the leaders of the NGEA, who conveyed their decision to return to work next Monday.

“We were informed of the withdrawal the protest which was done in the interest of Garo Hills. The decision was welcomed. They wanted a written assurance that 6 months’ salaries should be immediately released but this was rejected because the council treasury is bare,” said the deputy Chairman, Metrinson G Momin.

ALSO READ | Meghalaya: Financial crisis plagues GHADC; requires Rs 80 cr to clear employees’ dues

An assurance, however, was given that the issue of pending salaries would be the top priority for clearance by the EC provided funds were available.

Employees of the GHADC were on a 3 day strike last week which was followed by an indefinite strike call from Wednesday this week.

The CEM had earlier directed various departments of the GHADC to utilize the services of its muster roll workers in place of the agitating employees after the refusal of the NGEA to rejoin work.

The approach is possibly the first time that the EC has refused to bow down to dictates even going to the extent of threatening termination – a move that seems to have paid off in quelling the protest for now.

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