Central Trade Unions Tuesday began a two-day nationwide strike to protest against the government’s alleged anti-worker policies and unilateral labour reforms.
“The strike is quite visible in Assam, Meghalaya, Karnataka, Manipur Bihar, Rajasthan, Goa, Punjab, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Haryana — particularly in the targeted industrial areas and different mines,” Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), told PTI.
She said that some states’ transport departments, taxi drivers and auto-rickshaw drivers have gone on strike for two days while Railway workers are holding gate meeting bearing black badge to express their solidarity.
Kaur said that Jawaharlal Nehru University student unions have expressed their solidarity with trade unions; and other educational institution are expected to support the strike.
She also informed that transport department in Bhopal is closed completely and Haryana Roadways is also participating in the strike. As many as 10 Central Trade Unions (CTUs) have joined hands to go on a two-day nationwide strike from Tuesday.
20 crore workers are expected to join the strike. This is the largest number of workers from formal and informal sectors joining a strike against anti-people and anti-worker policies of the BJP-led central government, she stated.
She informed that sectors like telecom, health, education, coal, steel, electricity, banking, insurance and transport are supporting the strike. The unions will go on protest march from Mandi House to Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Similar protests would be done across the country. Kaur had said the CTUs are also opposed to unilateral labour reforms.
The 10 CTUs which have gone on strike include INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC. RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) will not participate.
“The government has failed to create jobs and grossly ignored unions’ 12-point charter of demands. The Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on labour issues has not called unions for any discussion since September 2, 2015 strike,” Kaur had said on Monday.
In a joint statement, the CTUs had also alleged that the government undermined tripartism and continued its “aggressive attack with arrogance on the lives and livelihood of the working people.”
The unions are also opposed to the proposed amendments in Trade Union Act, 1926, saying those are irrational and extremely damaging to the independent functioning of unions. The unions claim that farming communities through their associations have also extended support to the strike.