What the confederation said
In an open letter published online recently, the confederation has explained its decision, and also justified March 16 as the date of choice for the nationwide strike. It has said: "As March 13 is holiday for Holi in North India and the celebrations are to continue on March 14, the strike date is fixed as March 16. There is no change in the January 10 Mass Dharna Programme."
The confederation has also asked its member organisations, which had served notice for the all-India strike on February 15, to serve a fresh notice informing the authorities of the new date. Those who have not served the notice yet were asked to do so latest by January 15.
Confederation president KKN Kutty explained to International Business Times, India, that their protest was against the government's inaction on its promise on June 30, 2016, that it would revise wages and rectify the calculation mistakes made by the 7th Central Pay Commission.
He explained: "The minimum salary of a Central government employee as on January 1, 2016, was Rs 15,750. As per an agreement from 1957 — which governs salary hikes of Central government employees — we were supposed to see an increase of Rs 8,000-9,000 in our salary, to around Rs 26,000. However, according to the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, our revised minimum salary should be around Rs 18,000. We want this rectified, because the pay panel had made mistakes in calculations in arriving at that number."
Kutty also told IBTimes India: "A Group of Ministers had also assured us on June 30, 2016, that a revision of wages would take place within four months, but that due date is long past. We want this revision. That is why we have called for the strike, which may not happen if the government comes forward with a settlement plan."