Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh to flag off rally against Modi government's labour policies
Critical of the Modi government's policies, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) will take out a massive rally on Friday in the national capital. The BMS want to mount pressure on the Centre for changing its perception and policies towards country’s labour.
The BMS rally comes days after 10 central trade unions including the CPI(M) affiliated CITU and the Congress’s INTUC participated in a three-day demonstration against the “anti-worker” and “anti-national” policies of the Modi government and pressed for their 12-point charter of demands including minimum wage, social security and workers’ status.
While the BMS too has been demanding the 12-point charter of demands, it did not join the 9 to 12 November stir in Delhi lead by the other central trade unions.
The 10 unions that participated in the stir were –
– Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
– All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)
– Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS)
– Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)
– All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC)
– Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC)
– Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA)
– All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU)
– United Trade Union Congress (UTUC)
– Labour Progressive Federation (LPF)
Much like the Opposition, the RSS’ trade union wing has been deriding the economic and labour policies of the government and expressing concern over rising unemployment and economic slowdown. But it has refrained from joining the opposition in the protest.
BMS President CK Saji Narayanan, however, blamed the other central trade unions for not inviting it.
“They too have been fighting for labour rights but at the same time, their movement is more guided by political considerations. They never had any intention to allow BMS to be part of their movement. We could have been part of their movement if it was not politically motivated,” said Narayanan.
“Moreover, left trade unionism is as responsible as the government policies for putting the labour sector in peril. Their trade unionism is disruptive and marked by hooliganism. Joining their movement would be akin to accepting their ideas, which we can’t,” he said.
The BMS rally is expecting participation of all its 44 federations and several lakhs activists from across the country representing organised, unorganised, private and government sectors.
The BMS' main demands include –
• Implementation equal wages for equal work in all sectors and ensure its strict implementation in both public and private sectors.
• Implementation of minimum wages in all types of industries/ establishments at all levels, Increasing funds to Unorganised Sector Workers Welfare Fund.
• Ending all forms of contract labour, providing pension and other social security benefits including medical facilities.
• Rehabilitating workers and reimbursing labour welfare boards from unorganized sector affected by GST implementation.
• Resolving long pending issues of Aanganwadi workers and other scheme Workers.
• Provide 200 days of job to MGNREGA Workers.
• Save Public Sector & Financial Institutions.
• Providing labour and farmers’ representation in Niti Aayog.
• Stop curtailing workers’ rights in the name of Labour Law Reforms.
The rally will culminate with the handing over of the charter of demands submitted to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is the Chairman of the inter-ministerial council (IMC) formed to look into the 12 demands charter of trade unions.
While the three-day stir by 10 central trade unions did not evoke much of a response from the Centre, the BMS insists there is no option left for the Modi government but to oblige to the demands.
“It’s time the government changed its perception and policies, especially towards the labour sector. The government has to pay heed to our demands, there is no other way. If it continues to look the other way, then our movement will only intensify until it accedes to the demand,” said Narayanan who had described Modi government to be an extension of the Congress-led UPA.
“The BMS will also continue to fight against liberalisation and privatisation reforms and curtail the onslaught of MNCs and FDI. Our fight is to ensure that the government policies shift to people-centric economic reforms instead of pro-corporate, stopping of disinvestment and privatisation and stopping mindless reforms which have only widened the economic divide, by burdening the poor and subsidising the rich,” he added.