Farmer and labour organisations called up for a nationwide strike against Centre’s “anti-people” and “anti-workers” policies on January 8, 2020.
Over 10 trade unions and nearly 25 crore people will participate in this strike. The unions that will join the strike include INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC and several independent federations and associations.
In September 2019, a declaration was adopted by these trade unions along with various sectoral independent federations and associations to go on a nationwide strike on January 8, 2020.
“The Ministry of Labour has failed to assure on any of the demands of workers which called a meeting on January 2, 2020. The attitude of the government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions, “ the 10 central trade unions said in a statement released.
On 1st December several farmer and rural workers organisation under the umbrella of All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee ( AIKSCC) also joined the call for nationwide Grameen Bandh in protest against the anti-farmer policies and inaction of the Centre and the States on the demands of the farmers.
Also, to raise voice against increased fee structure and commercialization of education, about 60 organisations of students and elected office-bearers of some universities have also decided to join the strike.
The protest will highlight the government’s failure on various fronts – its failure in ensuring Minimum Support Prices at C2+50% for all crops, in providing freedom from indebtedness, in implementing effective crop insurance and disaster compensation in the face of drought, floods and unseasonal rains, in implementing Forest Rights Act, etc. – and on other burning issues at state level.
Condemning the JNU violence and similar incidents in other university campuses, the trade unions expressed their solidarity with students and teachers all over India.
The unions will also protest against privatisation in railways, corporatisation of 49 defence production units and forced merger of banks. “As many as 12 airports are already sold out to private hands, 100 per cent sale of Air India is already decided, the decision to sell BPCL taken, BSNL-MTNL merger announced and 93,600 telecom workers already thrown out of jobs under the garb of VRS (voluntary retirement scheme),” the statement reads.
Bank employees belonging to five bank unions will also join the strike. It is likely to affect banking services on January 8. However, there would not be any impact on online transactions. Major unions in the Indian banking sector have decided to participate in the National General Strike called by central trade unions on January 8, 2020, said a top leader of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA).In a statement, the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) general secretary CH Venkatachalam had last month said that employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), co-operative Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRB), Life Insurance Corporation of India and General Insurance sector will also join the strike.
Trade unions are pressing fT or 14 demands. The key demand is that the Centre scraps the proposed labour reforms. Others include a hike in the minimum wage to Rs 21,000-Rs 24,000 per month; repealing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), and halting the privatisation of public sector undertakings.
It’s going to be a 24 hours strike, which will start from 12pm on Wednesday.