A nationwide strike is going to be observed on Wednesday, 8th of January. This strike is planned by ten central trade unions. The unions on Monday said that around 25 Crore people are expected to protest against the ruling government’s “anti-people” policies. Unions that will be participating in the protests are the NTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTU. Along with these several other federations are also expected to join the protests.
According to a report published in The Newsminute, a lawyer, Maitreyi Krishnan, working for one of the trade unions said, “ the main demand is that the government drop the proposed labour reforms.” According to her, there are objections to the proposed amendments in the labour law and these must be scrapped.
The ten Central Trade Unions (CTUs) in a joint statement said, “We expect the participation of not less than 25 crores of working people in the forthcoming National General Strike on January 8, 2020, to be followed by many more actions seeking reversal of the anti-worker, anti-people, anti-national policies of the Government.
“The Ministry of Labour has failed to assure any of the demands of workers in a meeting on January 2, 2020. The attitude of the government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions.”
The bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2018 and it proposes to merge 44 labour laws into four individual codes,- wages, industrial relations, social security and safe working conditions.
The codes have some very controversial provisions according to the labours, for eg, in November 2018 the labour code on industrial relations was approved by the Union Cabinet. The code seeks to derecognise labour unions, it also makes firing employees easier for employers. Another debatable aspect is the fact that the social security code does not include 93% unorganised sector workforce.
The unions also demand a raise in the minimum wage, they want it to be raised from 21,000 to 24000 per month. The protestors demand also include the repealing of the controversial CAA, NRC and NPR. It is to be noted that there have been widespread protests happening currently in various parts of the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
According to LiveMint, banking services will also get affected, especially ATMs and branch services. This is because bank unions and bank employees have also decided to join the protests. The reason bank workers are going on strike because they want a raise in their wages and they also oppose the merging of banks.
This decision of going on a protest was taken after failed talks between the unions and the government. According to a report published in the Telegraph, the labour minister, Santosh Gangwar, could not satisfy the union leaders in a meeting held last Thursday and hence the unions are going forward with the protest on the 8th of January.