Lifeguards withdraw strike as Govt assures them service continuity

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 13 January 2016 20:04 IST

The 16-day long strike of over 600 lifeguards came to an end today with Goa government assuring to prepare a roadmap for the Goan boys employed by Drishti.

They will join duties all along the coastline from tomorrow.

Tourism minister Dilip Parulekar, who was initially adamant to discuss the issue, finally came to the Azad Maidan to talk to the striking lifeguards.

Accompanied by Calangute MLA Michael Lobo, the tourism minister assured to work out alternate employment to the young boys after they reach the age of 45.

The lifeguards thus decided to withdraw their Satyagrah and join the duties as trade union leaders, including Christopher Fonseca, Raju Mangeshkar and Suhas Naik had a tough time to convince them.

The striking lifeguards, engaged by private agency Drishti, were demanding absorption in the state administration.

While modalities of their life security would be discussed by forming a committee, Parulekar has agreed to absorb 17 lifeguards, who were retrenched by the agency earlier, in the government service by 15 February.

He also assured the lifeguards continuity in service even if the agency is changed.

The striking workers would also get their salaries paid during the strike period.

Parulekar came to resolve the issue while the trade union leaders from several industries had gathered at Azad Maidan to plan out actions to intensify the agitation.

The government had earlier refused to intervene into the issue stating that it is a matter between the private agency and its workers.

However, the state had gone ahead with invoking Essential Services Maintenance Act in order to break the strike, but failed.

Meanwhile, the striking lifeguards also received response from the opposition and even opposition leader Pratapsing Rane as well as three independent MLAs came to Azad Maidan to support them. 

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