Ahead of the nationwide strike called by trade unions tomorrow, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya today blamed the previous UPA rule for the issues faced by the workers and claimed that the present government has accomplished more than what was done in last 45 years.
“From 2004-2014, they (the UPA government) were unable to take the issue seriously. But, it was the NDA which in the last two years has taken pro-worker decisions. More decisions have been taken in two years than what was done in the last 45 years,” he said here.
“We are focused on development of working conditions, health, wage, job security and social security. In totality, the government is in a positive mode and doesn’t want a confrontation with labour Union. We need their cooperation and support,” the Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment said.
“We had a discussion with trade unions, we want a harmonious working condition and now it is up to their wisdom to continue with the strike or not,” Dattatreya said.
Informing that the government will soon announce minimum wage for agricultural workers, he said, “We have raised the wage of non-agricultural workers to Rs 350 from Rs 246. These wages were not revised since 2005.
We are working on a similar pattern for agricultural workers as well. We will soon revise their minimum wages as well.”
Dattatreya also alleged that after taking a review of his department, it was found that there a “misinformation campaign” is underway.
“I had come to Mumbai to take a review of my department. Keeping the department in tandem with technology, we want to reach all workers through SMS. All the major demands to which the government has agreed will be sent to the workers on their cell phones,” he said.
“We will also tell establishments to display the same on their notice boards. There is a misinformation campaign going on. This is a pro-labour government,” he added.
On questions over different sectoral demands by the Trade Unions, Dattatreya said that since these are sectoral issues, he will hold meetings with different ministers concerned and will try to resolve these.
The central trade unions have given a call for a countrywide general strike tomorrow to protest the “anti-people, anti-national and anti-worker” policies of the NDA government at the Centre.
To another query, he said banking and insurance sectors are likely to be impacted more due to the strike by the trade unions tomorrow.
Out of the 12 demands of the Trade Unions, eight are related to the labour department and seven of them have been agreed to, Dattatreya said.
“The seven demands include wage revision, bonus for workers from Rs 10,000-21,000 and social security, which is a prime aspect for workers, particularly skilled workers like anganwadis, Asha workers and Mid-day meal workers,” he said.