Ten Central Trade Unions will observe a Nationwide General Strike on November 26th 2020 to protest against the recent labour laws cleared by Parliament. This was decided at a Virtual National Convention of the unions and other independent federations held on Friday to coincide with Gandhi Jayanti.
Parliament passed the Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2020, the Code on Social Security Bill, 2020 and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill, 2020 in the recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament.
Indian National Trade Union Congress president G. Sanjeeva Reddy said that for the working class, the Modi government’s rule was worse than the British regime. “The Modi government is trying to snatch the rights we earned after 60 years of struggle. They are taking the worker’s living standards to British era,” Mr. Reddy said. He said that it was important that all trade unions come together at this hour.
All India Trade Union Congress general secretary Amarjeet Kaur said the present government, instead of formulating the policies for the last man in the line, was actually making policies to benefit those at the top of the food chain.
The organisations said the new labour codes had taken away the fundamental right of the worker to go on strike. The unions have collectively drafted seven demands, including cash transfer of ₹7,500 a month for all families that do not pay income tax and 10 kg free ration per month to the needy. The unions have also demanded withdrawal of the new labour and farm laws.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions General Secretary Tapan Sen said the Government was adamant on selling public sector units and on privatization. “On November 26th, there will be a nationwide general strike. But this is merely the first step, we will constantly oppose the Modi government’s every effort to try and sell off public sector companies,” Mr. Sen said.