Unions urge PM to ensure free universal vaccination

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 28, 2021

People queue up to receive a dose of a Coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination centre in Mumbai   -  AFP

Central Trade Unions have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a joint letter that vaccine production must be ramped up and universal free vaccination ensured within a definite time frame.

The 10 unions also pressed for adequate supply of oxygen and other facilities in hospitals to tackle the second wave of Covid.

The new vaccine policy, which allows differential pricing, should be scrapped as it is discriminatory and pro-corporate. Public health infrastructure must be strengthened by taking measures including recruiting the necessary health personnel, they said.

‘Ban job cuts’

The letter also demanded that any order under Disaster Management Act issued by any authority imposing restrictions in movement, curfew etc must accompany strict orders banning retrenchment, wage-cut and eviction from residences and the orders strictly enforced.

“Scrap anti-worker Labour Codes, anti-people Farm Laws and Electricity Bill. Stop privatisation and disinvestment. Provide ₹7,500 per month for all non-income tax paying families, 10 kg free food grains per person per month for the next six months,” they said.

‘Blame game on’

“Caught unprepared, despite the warning about a second countrywide wave, the Central government is now trying to blame the people, the State governments and everybody except itself for the surge of casualty with much more intensity and speed,” they said in their letter.

“The new vaccine policy liberalises the vaccine sale by deregulating the prices through a discriminatory process that too without taking any concrete measures for augmenting availability,” the TUs said.

Published on April 28, 2021

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