Banking and transport workers on strike against new labour policies

Trade unions are demanding urgent measures for containing price-rise, universal social security cover for all and minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000 per month

jasleen

Jasleen Kaur | September 2, 2016 | New Delhi


#Banking   #transport   #coal   #workers   #strike   #price-rise   #social security   #minimum wages  

 Services like banking and public transport were largely affected on Friday as more than a million workers across various sectors were on a day-long nationwide strike, protesting against new labour policies and demanding better pay.

The central trade unions including the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Trade Unions Congress (AITUC), brought public life in the country to a standstill. Workers of the state-run Coal India are also part of the strike.
 
Speaking with Governance Now, Ashok Singh, general secretary INTUC said that the massive strike has been called to protest against the authoritarian way of the NDA government. “We had submitted a 12 point memorandum to the government last year. A committee was formed under the chairmanship of Arun Jaitley. It has been over a year now and not a single meeting has been called. We gave them enough time to take action.”
 
Singh said that the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has been taking decisions against the working class. Also, they have made the changes in the labour laws without taking the trade unions in confidence.
 
A 12-point charter of demands was submitted to the Centre last year. The demands included urgent measures for containing price-rise, universal social security cover for all workers, minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000 per month, assuring enhanced pension not less than Rs 3,000 per month for the entire working population and stopping disinvestment in central and state PSUs.
 
The NDA government aims to raise over Rs 55,000 crore through disinvestment this financial year. It also plans to shut down some of the loss making companies. On Tuesday finance minister Arun Jaitley gave assurance to the employees that bonuses for the last two years will be released soon and it will also increase the minimum wages for unskilled labourers.
 
Jibon Roy, general secretary, All India Coal Workers Federation and former Rajya Sabha member, says the strike is mainly a consolidation against reforms which are taking shape to bring slavery.
 
“Character of reforms is colonial. They are also exploiting the caste system for getting low cost labour,” he adds.
 
He says for permanent workers, the wage level is not according to the price rise. Also, more number of contractual workers is taken on board who do not getting enough wage. “The government is not creating reform policies for us. The focus is on the industries and their growth,” he adds.
 

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