Rising Workers Movement in Kashmir

Due to the global economic crisis started a decade back, the situation of Kashmir has become extremely bad for its workers. Massive inflation is affecting all households. The national and the regional government is imposing massive austerity on all public services. In recent days, a massive youth and workers movement in Kashmir was observed. Workers in every department and public sector organisation are going on strike, day after day, raising slogans of their demands. Recently para-medical staffs, doctors and nurses went on strike and organised several rallies across the region. Lady health visitors are also campaigning through organising rallies against contractual employment. Teachers in Kashmir also initiated a region-wide strike and boycotted classes on pay and working conditions. Few of the teacher’s demands were met by the government. However, the revision of teaching grades is still pending. Other demonstrations include the contract employees of the Police Department. The contractual, technical staff of the Provincial Works Department PWD also called for a strike recently. The strike that started when the President of technical staff association of the PWD was victimised and fired from his job, it is still ongoing. Most of the employees of PWD are working from 6000 PKR – 8000 PKR (30 GBP – 40 GBP) per month, and for the last 10 months, about 1200 employees haven’t been paid their salaries. The clerics association is also on strike demanding pay rise in line with the rising inflation. The national government, as well as the government of Kashmir,  is turning a deaf ear upon the demands of workers. Workers are realising that the only way forward is to join all the worker’s struggles going on in different organisations and public sector bodies together in the form of a unified struggle for their rights from the government. The formation of Employees Joint Action Committee (Mulazmeen Ittehaad Action Committee) is great news for workers of Kashmir, which is an initial step for workers to raise their demands.