Ten trade unions launch stir against Modi’s ‘anti-national’ policies. BMS stays away
Intensifying their movement, central trade unions (CTU) on Thursday went ahead with their three-day demonstration in the national Capital against the “anti-worker” and “anti-national” policies of the Narendra Modi government.
The stir was launched by a joint platform of 10 CTUs and industry federations to press for their 12-point charter of demands including minimum wage, social security and workers’ status and deride the “anti-national policies of the Modi government that has wreaked havoc on the economy and massive joblessness”.
Barring the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), all major CTUs are part of the stir.
The BMS too has been critical of the Centre's policies but did not join the demonstration. It is scheduled to launch its own stir on 17 November against proposed labour reforms by the Modi government.
The 10 unions participating are 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) and the Labour Progressive Federation (LPF).
Earlier on 7 November, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Santosh Kumar Gangwar held talks with the trade union representatives over the 12-point charter.
The talks ended in a stalemate and ignoring the Center’s plea, the unions chose to go ahead with the demonstration.
- Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of public distribution system and banning speculative trade in commodity market
- Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation
- Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws and stringent punitive measures for their violation.
- Universal social security cover for all workers.
- Minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000/- per month with provisions of indexation
- Assured enhanced pension not less than Rs.3,000/- p.m. for the entire working population
- Stopping disinvestment in Central/State PSUs.
- Stopping contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work
- Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund; increasing the quantum of gratuity.
- Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application; and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions C 87 and C 98.
- Stoppage of Pro-Employer Labour Law Amendments
- Stoppage of FDI in Railways, Insurance and Defence
‘Modi’s policies are against national interest’
“This movement is aimed at compelling the government to concede the demands which the TUs have been making for last 8 years and successive governments chose to ignore. If the government continues to ignore the demands of the workers and proceed with its pro-corporate agenda, then there will be indefinite countrywide strike action,” said CITU general secretary Tapan Sen.
“The government’s response to the 12 point charter of demands, in the (7 November) meeting remains negative on all counts reflecting their bias against the interests of working people. The policies of this government are destructive for the interests of the workers, farmers and the common people at large and also against the national interest,” added Sen.
The TUs said the “anti-people and anti-worker policies of the Modi government were inflicting horrific miseries and hardships on common people.
“Unemployment is getting aggravated with every passing day. In fact employment generation has already turned negative following the increasing phenomenon of closure and shut-down of industries.
The TUs blamed demonetization for further depressing wages and perpetuating closure of industries.
“It has shattered the entire economy, particularly the unorganised sector, the SME sector and the small traders and peasants in turn adversely impacting the lives, wages and earnings of crores of toiling people. Even after one year, the economy is yet to recover from its damaging impact,” it said.
The TUs also said the hasty implementation of GST has only added to the miseries of the people and jeopardising services, trade and various occupations.
The Joint Trade Union Platform represents workers and employees from all major sectors of industries and services like coal, steel, transport, telecom, petroleum, electricity, port & docks, engineering, construction, scheme-workers and central and state government employees.