Bharat Bandh on January 8, more than 25 crore people to participate
Ten central trade unions, along with various sectoral independent federations and associations, are going to take part in a countrywide strike on January 8, 2020. The call for “Bharat Bandh” was declared in September 2019 to protest against the Indian government’s policies, which are “anti-people.” INTUC, AITUC, HMS, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, CITU, AIUTUC, LPF, and UTUC, are the ten trade unions that are supporting the strike.
Ten central trade unions (CTUs) announced the participation on Monday. “We expect participation of not less than 25 crore 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,” it said in a joint statement.
“The Ministry of Labour has failed to assure on any of the demands of workers which called 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 statement added. The 24-hour strike will begin early morning on Wednesday.
The protest also aims to prevent the privatization of public sector undertakings such as Air India and the decision to sell BPCL. The merging of BSNL-MTNL is also being protested. Under the garb of Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), as many as 93, 600 telecom workers have already lost their jobs, it added.
“The joint platform of more than 175 farmers and agricultural workers unions will extend its support to workers’ demands and observe January 8 as Gramin Bharat Bandh along with their charter of demands,” the organization claimed.
About 60 student’s organizations, reportedly, will raise their voice against increased fees and commercialization of education. The violence on the JNU campus was heavily condemned by them, along with several other university campus violence all over the country. The unions are also protesting against the government’s decision to privatize railways, corporatizing 49 defence production.
The CTU also revealed that the Trade union would be pressing for 14 demands. The primary demand is that the Centre scraps the proposed labour reforms. The workers will be protesting central government policies, pressing for 12-point common demands of the working class on minimum wage, social security, among others. They also want the government to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
The strike will affect banking service on January 8 as five bank unions’ employees have decided to join the strike. Online transactions also may have some issues. However, the government has instructed public sector undertakings to discourage their employees from taking part in the Bharat Bandh. “Any employee going on strike in any form, including protest, would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action,” ruled a government memorandum.