Central Government employees under the banner of Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, observed September 19th as “MARTYRS DAY” at many places.
On 19th September 1968, entire Central Government employees went on nationwide strike for one day, demanding Need Based Minimum Wage, unanimously approved and recommended by the 15th Tri-partite Indian Labour Conference held in 1957. The Central Government banned the strike declaring as illegal and promulgated Essential Services Maintenance Ordinance (ESMO) and military and para-military forces were pressed into action to sternly deal with the strike. Inspite of all these, about 36 lakhs Central Government employees participated in the strike. Thousands of employees were arrested and sent to jail. More than 40,000 (forty thousand) employees were suspended, dismissed, terminated from service, chargesheeted and transferred to far off places. Government unleased brutal repressive measures including Lathi charge and firing against the striking employees, at Pathankot, Bikaner, Jorhat Assam, Indraprastha Bhawan Delhi etc. Seventeen Central Government employees were murdered. We are celebrating every year September 19th as Martyrs Day, remembering the greatest sacrifice of seventeen comrades and paying respectful homage to them.