KATHMANDU: The Daily-wage and Contract Employees' Struggle Committee at the Janak Education Materials Centre today lifted the lockout at the JEMC offices, after the management committee decided not to sack the employees appointed on contract and daily-wage basis.

Earlier, the struggle committee locked the administrative departments till midday, protesting the management committee's decision to sack the employees, following the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) directive to do so. The CIAA had said that such appointments were also a corruption. The employees had padlocked the office of nine department heads and the press.

Ram Babu Kunwar, coordinator of the struggle committee, informed that the lockout was lifted after the management committee decided to put off its decision until a next meeting decides the fate of such employees. "The management committee informed us that they would bring such employees under the quota system by evaluating their necessities and sort this problem out rather than sacking them," he added.

Of the 700 employees at the JEMC, 262 are working on daily-wage and contract basis since the last 18 months. Six of them are visually impaired and deaf.

"Though we have been demanding permanent appointment for us since September last year, the management committee is keeping mum on our demands," Kunwar said, adding that they had no option but to padlock the offices after they came to know about the management's plan to sack them. He also said the struggle committee had given a 24-hour ultimatum and staged a sit-in at the office premises yesterday, urging the management to rethink their decision and appoint the employees permanently.

However, managing director of JEMC Birendra Kumar Das said the management was just following the CIAA directives. "We had not intention of sacking the employees," he added.

Kunwar said that they would intensify their protest if the management committee failed to comply with today's agreement.