The major trade unions have decided to go ahead with their nationwide strike for a day on Friday protesting anti-people policies of the government, while the BMS, affiliated to the ruling BJP, has decided to stay away, a joint statement by Central Trade Unions (CTU) said.
The CTUs view the announcements made by the Committee of Ministers of raising minimum wage to Rs. 9,100 per month in central sphere is just an “eyewash” as it is not binding on the states.
The unions that will paritcipate in the strike are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC, and LPF. The strike will be observed in all government sectors.
“The Cental Trade Unions reiterate the call for countrywide general strike on September 2 against the anti-worker and anti-people policies of the government. In view of the utterly unresponsive and undemocratic attitute of the government, the CTUs view the announcements made by the Committee of Ministers as an eyewash and have decided to go ahead with the strike. Meagre raise in minimum wage to Rs. 9100 per month in central sphere is not binding on the states,” said the joint statement on Thursday.
A statement from the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) released by its General Secretary Tapan Sen said: “Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had sent a release to media and press on August 31 trumpeting on NDA government’s commitment to fair earnings and social security for the workers.”
“CITU considers this statement a deliberate ‘misinformation campaign’ to create confusion and to sabotage the countrywide general strike on Friday which all sections of workers and employees have already prepared to join,” it added.
The CITU statement said: “The labour minister claimed to have announced a 42 per cent rise in minimum wage for the workers in central sphere. The government’s offer of Rs 9,100, Rs 11,362 and Rs 13,598 respectively for the workers of central sphere in “C”, “S” and “A” category areas respectively is not even half of what all the central trade unions, including BMS unitedly demanded and have been pursuing since last five years.”
“The trade unions had been all along demanding for a statutory binding arrangement for Minimum Wage applicable throughout the country. Making noise over some marginal increase, that too for the extremely minority section of workers in the central sphere is aimed at deceiving the overwhelming majority of the workforce,” it added.
“The minister announced that the government will pay the employers contribution in provident fund and pension for three years. Why should the national exchequer pay for employers’ statutory liability toward PF and pension?” asked CITU.
“What else can be called loot on national asset? Claiming these anti-national measures as ‘commitment to national development’ is nothing but hypocrisy,” it added.