Ten trade unions and several bank employees' associations will hold a nationwide strike over the Centre's divestment plans of state-run PSUs and the recently passed labour codes. In support of the Bharat Bandh call, state affiliate unions, industrial clusters, coal mines, factories, federations of railway and defence employees, industrial workers groups, farm groups and several government employees will take part in the nationwide protests.
With this, most of the industrial, banking activities and road movements will be hampered. In a statement on Wednesday, a joint platform of ten central unions said all preparations have been done as more than 25 crore workers are expected to participate in the strike across the country.
The ten central unions taking part in the strike 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 Co-ordination Centre (TUCC) and Self-Employed Women''s Association (SEWA). Others like the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) will also support the strike call.
The BJP-aligned Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), however, will not participate in the strike. Among the supporters of the strike call are scheme workers, domestic workers, construction workers, beedi workers, hawkers, vendors, agricultural workers, self-employed in rural and urban areas. These workers could take part in 'chakka jam' in various places.
Auto and taxi drivers may also take part in protests across various states. "As part of the activities, our Delhi units are organising industrial strikes in the industrial areas of Delhi and also making humble gathering at Jantar Mantar near the crossing of Parliament Street and Tolstoy Marg (at) noon," the statement said.
National leaders of central trade unions would be present and would also address the gathering.
What are the demands of protesters?
- Cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month tor all non-income tax-paying families
- 10 kilograms free ration per person per month to all needy people
- Expansion of MGNREGA to provide 200 days' work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages Extension of the employment guarantee to urban areas
- Withdrawal of all "anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes and stop privatisation of the public sector", including the financial sector
- End corporatisation of government-run manufacturing and service entities like railways, ordinance factories, ports
- Withdrawal of the "draconian circular on forced premature retirement of government and PSU employees"
- Other demands are "pension to all", scrapping NPS (National Pension System) and restoration of earlier pension with improvement in EPS-95 (Employees' Pension Scheme-1995 run by retirement fund body EPFO)
With PTI inputs