Workers to lend muscle to anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protest

This time among other demands, the trade unions have agreed to include the protest against the contentious CAA, NPR and NRC to their agenda, describing it as a move against workers, who will be the "worst sufferers" when it is rolled out. (Representative Image/PTI Photo)

Workers across the country will add more strength to the ongoing anti-CAA-NPR-NRC protests when they go on a general strike on January 8 by adding it to their list of "ant-labourer" measures by the government.

Demanding a national minimum wage of Rs 21,000 per month, pension to all, restoration of old pension scheme, generation of new jobs, 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, ten central trade unions barring the BMS had in September last year called for a general strike next week.

On the same day last year, the trade unions – INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC – had started a two-day national strike in which the organisers claimed around 20 crore workers, from both public and private, including in multinational companies, participated.

This time among other demands, 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.

The trade unions had enlarged its scope like this previously also when it protested against the controversial Land Acquisition Ordinance issued in 2015 by Narendra Modi government during their general strike earlier. The trade unions had earlier given a "political call" to oust the Modi government, accusing it of pursuing "divisive, communal polarisation" agenda.

"Be it NRC in Assam or scrapping of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the workers, especially the migrant workers, were the worst sufferers. Workers migrate from their states to different parts of the country in search of jobs and most of them do not have any documents to prove. They will be facing serious troubles. Trade union movement is really concerned about it. The workers will demand the withdrawal of CAA, NPR and NRC," CITU National Secretary A R Sindhu told DH.

Student and farmers organisations too have announced their support for the protests against the CAA-NPR-NRC. Five Left parties – CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML)L, Forward Bloc and RSP – have also given a call for a week-long protest programme from January 1 in the run up to the general strike "against the assault on Constitution: CAA/NRC/NPR (and) against (the) mounting miseries on the people due to economic recession".

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