To protest economic policies, 20 crore workers to go on strike on January 8: trade unions

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 30, 2019 Published on September 30, 2019

A convention of 10 central trade unions, federations and associations of workers have called for a strike on January 8 to protest against the Centre’s economic and labour policies.

Over 20 crore workers will strike work on the day, the unions said.

Terming Modi government’s policies as “anti-worker, anti-people anti-national”, the trade unions said the adverse effects of the slowdown are being felt by the workers in the unorganised and organised sectors in the form of largescale retrenchment and closures.

“In the name of recession, the Centre is taking steps such as reducing corporate taxes, and giving them big bonanza to the tune of ₹1.45 lakh crore from the national exchequer while not a single penny is being spent to ensure job security or employment allowance to workers. The government measures are supply-side, when economists are unanimous that the crisis is on the demand-side,” the trade unions said in a joint statement.

The trade unions have been demanding a national minimum wage of ₹21,000 per month, pension to all, restoration of the old pension scheme, control on price rise in essential commodities, making public distribution system universal, generation of jobs, filling up of sanctioned posts, regularisation of scheme and contract workers in government posts, equal pay for equal work, strengthening welfare boards for the unorganised sector, increased budgetary provision for MNREGA and agriculture. They argued that such steps would have brought money in the hands of the toilers and boosted the economy.

CITU General Secretary and former MP Tapan Sen said the decision to go for a strike was taken after a number of similar action in various sectors and over 20 crore workers will participate. He told BusinessLine that sectors such as defence production and mining witnessed strikes during the second term of the Modi government.

“The government persists by using diversionary tactics of raising emotive non-issues to divide the people and haunt the minorities. The convention pledged to fight theses communal and divisive forces,” the trade unions said.

A declaration passed at the convention said the “destructive economic policies”, targeting the democratic rights and livelihood of the people, damaged the social fabric of the country.

Published on September 30, 2019
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