10 trade unions call for two-day general strike in Jan

10 trade unions call for two-day general strike in Jan

Ten central trade unions, barring Sangh-affiliated BMS, will go on a two-day General Strike from January 8 with a call to defeat the "anti-people, anti-workers and anti-national" NDA government.

The declaration came at the National Convention of Workers in New Delhi on Friday, which was attended by workers affiliated to trade unions INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC.

The joint declaration also refers to 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”.

The war cry came as leaders of trade unions targeted the Modi government with INTUC president Sanjeeva Reddy saying, "We will tell workers not to vote for this government in the upcoming elections." Reddy also said that at least 70 lakh people have been unemployed since Modi assumed power.

AITUC's Amarjeet Kaur said the government has the habit of shouting from the rooftop that they are patriots and they do so because they have a guilty conscience that it never took part in the independence movement. CITU general secretary Tapan Sen also called for the ouster of the government, which he termed was anti-worker.

The general strike comes as part of a series of agitations organised by mass organisations linked to Opposition parties in the recent months.

While a 'Jail Bharo' agitation was held in August by Kisan Sabha and a joint farmer-workers rally was organised by CITU and Kisan Sabha on September 5, youth organisations are marching to Parliament on November 3 and central government employees are going on a hartal in mid-November. Delhi will witness three-day-long "March to Parliament" by farmers' outfits starting November 28.

In a declaration adopted at the convention, the trade unions said they note with "utter dismay" that the government has been "arrogantly" ignoring their 12-point Charter of Demands on minimum wage, universal social security and against privatisation among others.

The unions were also concerned at rising unemployment, price rise, a rise in health expenditure and fuel price hike as it questioned the policies adopted by the government. It also found fault with the push for pro-industry decisions at the cost of workers.

They also express their worries over the “communal and divisive machinations” carried on with the “active patronage” of the government.

“The government is using the draconian UAPA, National Security Act as well as agencies of CBI, NIA and the Income Tax department to harass and suppress any dissenting opinions. The peace-loving secular people in the country are facing a stark situation of terror and insecurity all around,” it added.

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