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Trade unions announce countrywide ’satyagraha’ on Feb 26

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Emboldened by the recent two-day strike by coal workers, central trade unions of all political hues have decided to launch a country-wide ‘satyagraha’ (civil disobedience) on February 26, ahead of the Union Budget presentation.

At a meeting held ​here ​last week, trade unions, including the BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the Congress-backed INTUC and those backed by the Left parties, said they will intensify their protest against the recent amendments to labour laws ​which have ​"​a pro-corporate tilt”.

​In a joint statement issued ​here on Friday, the 10 key trade unions said the ​​coal strike ​early this month ​had “boosted the morale of workers in general”, which is why they had decided to carry their “unity to the sectoral level​​.”

Flaying the government ​for ​promulgating ordinance​s​ on coal, land acquisition and higher foreign direct investment in insurance, the unions said, “the government has made its intention clear to bring FDI into Railways and Defence and other strategic sectors.”

“Sectoral struggles in coal, banks, insurance state transport, electricity are being launched….The recent decision by Central government employees, including Railways and Defence, to stage a march to Parliament in April from thereon to declare strike actions is a positive development," ​they ​said.

The trade unions said they had submitted a 10-point demand charter to this government last year, but “unfortunately the government has not taken any action”​, adding that they had been protesting since 2009 against growing price rise, PSU disinvestment, violation of labour laws, growing contractual labour, non-payment of minimum wages and so on.

Last week, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya held a tripartite meeting and appealed to employer and employee representatives to be partners in ‘nation building’, ​and ​reiterat​ed his government’s commitment to the process of tripartite consultations.​ However, ​ the trade unions have alleged that the recent labour amendments were carried out in a "unilateral" manner.

Published on January 16, 2015

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