Trade unions across the industrial pockets of the National Capital Region (NCR) on Tuesday held meetings, raised slogans and went on marches in support of the strike called by trade unions across the country on Wednesday.
The unions have called a nationwide strike, demanding right to collective bargaining, raising minimum wages to Rs 15,000 and rolling back changes — both proposed and effected — to labour laws that adversely affect workers.
“We gave the call for the September 2 strike across the country for raising two issues primarily — one, the drastic changes made and proposed to labour laws and, second, to mobilise the country’s largely contractual and unorganised (around 96 per cent) labour force towards collective bargaining in the backdrop of the global slowdown and price rise,” said Sitaram Yechury, CPM General Secretary.
More than 200 workers from factories in Northwest Delhi’s Mayapuri industrial area assembled during lunch break to support the strike call. “Modi sarkar, hosh mein aao, hosh mein aao (Modi government, wake up, wake up),” shouted the workers.
Rajesh, secretary of the Indian Federation of Trade Unions’s West Delhi arm, said the union had pasted hundreds of posters on factory walls and distributed 1,000 more pamphlets across the city over the last two weeks in support of the nationwide strike. Up to two-lakh workers are employed in nearly 100 factories in Mayapuri.
“Five workers have died and 11 others have been seriously injured in accidents in iron-welding and cardboard-manufacturing factories in Mayapuri. Not one has been compensated. Over the demands made by the trade unions, we will demand justice for the kin of the dead and injured,” said Sohan, a worker.
Similarly, trade unions in the Okhla industrial area in Southeast Delhi, Wazirpur in North Delhi and those in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt held huge rallies, holding up traffic on Tuesday morning. The workers said their fight was against the trend to hire contract labour, worsening work conditions, job cuts and exploitation of workers.