Workers go on 2-day strike: Call to oust govt

Last Updated 08 January 2019, 10:27 IST

With a call to oust the Narendra Modi government, workers across the country affiliated to 10 central trade unions went on a two-day strike from intervening midnight of Monday-Tuesday protesting against "anti-labour, anti-people and anti-national" policies of the BJP-led regime.

Supporting the workers' strike, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) also called a 'Grameen Bharat Bandh' (rural India Bandh) to highlight the plight of farmers across the country, on January 8 and 9. The declaration of the bandh had come in September during the National Convention of Workers.

"The very concept of regular employment and job security is being sought to be wiped out from the workplaces," the trade unions said on Monday.

The joint declaration by the unions in September had referred to the allegations of corruption against the Narendra Modi government, saying it showed the "real face of the ruling clique and Rafale deal is the biggest scam yet being unearthed step by step", while leaders called for ousting Modi government in the next elections.

According to workers' leaders, unions and associations of agricultural, plantation, construction and beedi workers, vendors-hawkers, hamalies/loaders-unloaders, and others are mobilising support for a show of strength on streets during these two days.

In Monday's joint statement, the 10 unions -- INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC -- said organisations in banks, insurance sector, coal and non-coal mines, petroleum, post, telecom, engineering, manufacturing, steel, defence, health, education, water managements and projects, power, road transport, central and state government employees and auto-taxi unions have served required notices of strike at their union levels to the appropriate authorities.

"With every passing day, the Government is coming forward with more aggressive policies to ruthlessly cripple public sector undertakings and to safeguard the loot by the corporate houses through provisions of IBC Act and various other measures to the detriment of economy," the statement said.

The unions claimed that "desperate attempts" are being made to make "gross pro-employer changes" in labour laws, both piecemeal and also hastening the codification of 44 central laws into four, totally ignoring the viewpoints of trade unions.

National loot

"An attempt is being made to usurp funds accumulated in various welfare boards, in the name of providing universal social security," they said, adding they were also opposed to the notification on fixed term employment.

They also opposed the government policy of mass privatisation of strategic PSUs, crucial infrastructure and public utilities, specially targeting the ports, airports, telecom, financial sector etc, with defence production and railways thrown open for 100% FDI. They said this move is aimed at loot of the national assets and resources on the one hand and destruction of country’s economic base on the other.

(Published 07 January 2019, 15:54 IST)

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