Govt-Trade Unions talk fails, 'General strike' on Jan 8

Govt-Trade Unions talk fails, 'General strike' on Jan 8

Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar told the union leaders that the government has been taking all steps for the welfare of the workers and legislations on Labour Codes are a part of that.

The 'General Strike' called by 10 central unions on January against the "anti-people, anti-labourer" policies of Narendra Modi government will go on as scheduled as the talks initiated by Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar with workers' leaders failed.

The meeting was held on Thursday late evening but trade union leaders present in the meeting were not convinced with the government's plea.

CITU General Secretary Tapan Sen said the Minister did not give any assurance on any issue raised by the central Trade Unions, including the basic issues of unemployment, minimum wages and social security.

Gangwar told the union leaders that the government has been taking all steps for the welfare of the workers and legislations on Labour Codes are a part of that.

However, the leaders said the Labour Codes were a "design of imposing slavery" on the workers and it was "not acceptable" to the trade union movement of the country and they will not surrender.

"Doing away with all democratic practices, the government has not called the tripartite Indian Labour Conference after 2015. The unions further stated that against such anti-labour policies of the government along with other issues, the central trade unions have decided to go ahead with the General Strike on January 8," Sen said.

DH on January 1 reported that the trade unions have agreed to include the protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) to their agenda, describing it as a move against workers, who will be the "worst sufferers" when it is rolled out, to its already announced 12-point demand.

The demands include national minimum wage of Rs 21,000 per month, enhanced pension not less than Rs 10,000 to all workers, stopping PSU disinvestment, strengthening of welfare boards for unorganised sector workers and increased budgetary provision for MNREGA and agriculture that "will put money in the hands of the toilers and give boost" to the economy among others.

Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Andolan(JEJAA), a national platform of around 200 organisations of workers, peasants, agricultural workers, youth, students, women, Dalits, tribals and social movements, have also expressed solidarity with the general strike.

In a statement, the JEJAA said the January 8 strike will also be a landmark in the ongoing protests of the people of India against the CAA, NPR and NRC. "JEJAA supports the call for the general strike raising the demands of basic rights of the people," it said.

Besides JEJAA, All India Kisan Coordination Committee and the joint platform of students organisations have also decided to join the strike by observing 'rural bandh' and educational strike respectively. 

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