As many as 10 central trade unions will go ahead with the general strike on Friday saying the government gave no heed to their 12-point charter of demands and is continuing with unilateral labour reforms.
CTUs claimed that over 15 crore workers are likely to participate in the strike and it will be bigger than the one held last year as members of BMS will also support them.
RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) is the only major trade union which has opted out of strike – like last year – which was also held on September 2, in view of the assurances given by the government.
“Some leaders of BMS have decided not to go on strike. But its state units would participate in the strike. Workers will give a befitting reply to the dubious activities inspired by the government,” CITU General Secretary Tapen Sen said here in a joint press conference by 10 CTUs here.
CTUs reiterate the call for countrywide general strike on September 2 against the “anti-worker and anti-people policies” of the government and in view of its “utterly unresponsive and undemocratic attitude”, Sen added.
“It is like cheating the people,” she said, adding that this time the number will be bigger than 15 crore who participated in the general strike last year and more than 10 states will have bandh-like situation.
Strike is going to be complete in industrial sectors such as transport, financial, power, coal, textile, port and dock, automobile, steel, oil, defence production, scheme, education and Central and State government employees, Kaur added.
Referring to BMS decision not to participate in the strike, Kaur said: “Government has not had a single meeting with the CTUs in over a year and is talking to those (BMS) who have not given a strike notice.”
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Vice President Ashok Singh said: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his fight is with poverty, but it seems his fight is with the poor in this country. The government’s decision are totally pro-capitalist.”
CTUs expressed dismay over “utterly negative” attitude of the government on basic demands of workers on minimum wages as per consensus formulation of Indian Labour Conference, on universal social security including pension for all workers including those in unorganised sector, among others.
They added that government is dragging its feet over the mass scale contractorisation of permanent and perennial work.
Attacking the government’s initiatives on labour reforms, the unions said: “All these proactive initiatives militate against the basic interests and rights of the working people. Even the non-striking CTU (BMS) also officially recorded its opposition.”