About 25 crore workers are expected to participate in the nationwide general strike called by Central trade unions today. The strike has been called to protest against the new farm and labour laws, among others, as well as to raise various demands.
Here's all you need to know about Bharat Bandh on November 26:
Who all are participating in the strike?
Ten central trade unions are expected to be part of the strike. They include the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).
The forum also consists of independent federations/associations.
Meanwhile, BJP aligned Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has clarified that it will not participate in this strike.
The Independent Sectoral Federations and Associations in the central and state government employees and in the public sector enterprises have served the strike notice in most of the places, similarly the industrial units in the private sector, big and small, also have submitted notices to this effect in most part of the country.
The trade unions have also extended their support to the call by AIKSCC, the umbrella organisation of Indian farmers, of 'Parliament Chalo' march of 26-27 November along with the mobilisation of workers all over India to stand with them against the farm laws.
What are their demands?
The demands include cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for all non-income taxpaying families and 10 kg free ration per person per month to all needy.
The unions have also demanded for expansion of MGNREGA (rural employment guarantee scheme) to provide 200 days of work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages and to extend the employment guarantee scheme to urban areas.
They have asked the government to withdraw all "anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes and stop privatisation of public sector including the financial sector and stop corporatisation of government-run manufacturing and service entities like railways, ordinance factories, ports etc."
They have also demanded to withdraw the "draconian circular on forced premature retirement of government and PSU employees".
Other demands include ‘pension to all’, scrapping NPS (National Pension System) and restoration of earlier pension with improvement in EPS-95 (Employees' Pension Scheme-1995 run by retirement fund body EPFO).
What services will be affected today?
The scheme workers, domestic workers, construction workers, beedi workers, hawkers, vendors, agricultural workers, self-employed in rural and urban India have decided to come on streets for 'chakka jam'.
Public transportation services may get affected as auto and taxi drivers have also decided to keep off the roads in many states. Train services may also bear some impact as federations of railway and defence employees have decided for large mobilisation on the day to express their solidarity to this strike action and the demands of the unions.
Banking operations across the country may also be impacted. Many lenders, including IDBI Bank and Bank of Maharashtra, in regulatory filings on Wednesday, said their normal working could be affected at the branches and offices. Bank employees will protest against the privatisation of banks and outsourcing and contract system in jobs in the sector. They are also demanding adequate recruitment in the sector, stern action against big corporate defaulters, an increase in the rate of interest on bank deposits and a reduction in service charges.
(With PTI inputs)