CITU seeks Mamata’s support for strike 

CITU seeks Mamata’s support for strike 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

In a rather unusual development, the CITU has written to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seeking her support for its 48-hour-long country-wide general strike on January 8 and 9.

The CITU leadership has also urged Mamata to ensure that the CPM’s arch rival the Trinamool Congress (TMC) comes forward in support of the strike called by 10 central trade unions including the CITU, the labour wing of the CPM.

“We are hopeful that the West Bengal government and the ruling party in the state (the TMC) will play a positive role by supporting the strike,” the CITU leadership stated in the letter, which was also signed by leaders of nine other central trade unions.

They also pointed out that apart from the 12 national level demands the strike also involves two Bengal specific demands.

“First, closed factories must be reopened and sick factories must be received. Second, the Kolkata and Haldia Port in Bengal has to be renovated,” the letter said.

The other demands include curbing price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws and universal social security scheme for workers.

However, the TMC leadership cold shouldered the CITU’s appeal.

“There are many other ways to protest apart from strikes. We are not in favour of strikes,” TMC secretary general and Education Minister Partha Chatterjee said.

Ever since the TMC came to power in Bengal, Mamata has sternly opposed all strikes called by the Opposition parties.

The TMC also has not called for a strike after coming to power.

The state government has made it mandatory for its employees to report for duty during the strikes.

Police and state administration are pro-active in keeping public life normal during such strikes.