Unions: 25-crore workers set to join nation-wide strike today

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 08, 2020

The Centre warned its employees of consequences if they participated in the strike.

Repeal of the CAA tops 13-point charter of demands; Centre warns staff of stern action

The Centre on Tuesday issued a stern warning as 25 crore workers, affiliated to 10 trade unions (TUs) have planned a nation-wide strike on Wednesday. The unions have claimed the “largest ever” all-India participation with a 13-point charter of demands that includes a repeal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The TUs have claimed the support of various Opposition parties for the strike.

The Centre warned its employees of consequences if they participated in the strike. “Any employee going on strike in any form would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action,” said an order from the Centre’s Personnel Department.

“There is no statutory provision empowering the employees to go on strike,” the order added. “All officers are also requested not to sanction casual leave or any other kind of leave to the officers and employees, if applied for, during the period of proposed strike, and ensure that willing officers are allowed hindrance-free entry into the office premises,” said the order.

“It’s an usual instruction issued by the DoPT. Our strike is legal. Employees can’t be threatened like this,” said All India Defence Employees Federation General Secretary C Srikumar.

‘Largest-ever’ participation

The unions, however, said they were sure of a “massive mobilisation” in various sectors, including defence establishments, banks, insurance companies, ports and industrial units.

A statement by the TUs said: “We expect participation from not less than 25 crore working people in the general strike, to be followed by many more actions seeking reversal of the anti-worker, anti-people, anti-national policies of the Government.”

In industrial areas, the strike will start from the first shift and workers will take out processions, rallies and organise rail blockades. The unions also claimed that through central TUs, federations, associations and respective unions, their campaign has reached all States, district centres and industry units.

Talks between the unions and the Labour Ministry had failed to elicit any result. “The attitude of the Government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions. It is more than four years, there has been no Indian Labour Conference. The last meeting with the Group of Ministers constituted to discuss the 12-point charter of demands was held in August 2015,” the unions said.

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Published on January 07, 2020

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