Finance Minister Arun Jaitley-led ministerial panel will meet the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh tomorrow to discuss their demands as a proposed nation-wide strike by central trade unions on September 2 looms.
Jaitley has called for a meeting with leaders of the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), in which four ministers who are part of the ministerial group to consider the demands of the trade unions are likely to participate.
It will be the first meeting of the group with a central trade union over the 12-point charter of demands in almost a year. Previously, it had met trade unions on August 26-27, 2015.
Ten central trade unions had gone on a nation-wide strike on September 2 last year over the set of demands. Earlier this year, they decided to go on strike on the same date again in view of the government’s “indifference” to their requirements.
Asked about the meeting, BMS zonal Organising Secretary Pawan Kumar told PTI: “We will meet the finance minister and ask him about progress on the 12-point charter of demands. The government has assured us they will act on it, but so far nothing as happened.”
He further said: “If we do not get answers on the status and what they (government) have done on these demands, we will go ahead with the country-wide strike next month.”
The demands include minimum monthly wage of Rs 18,000, minimum assured pension of Rs 3,000 and no FDI in sectors like the Railways, Defence and insurance, among others. Meanwhile, BMS in a statement “strongly condemned the callous delay and neglecting attitude” of the government in not fulfilling the promises on demands raised by the joint forum of central trade unions.
The promises were made by both Labour Minister and Labour Secretary in August last year as a follow-up to the decisions taken by the ministerial group headed by Jaitley, which was formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it said. After a meeting on its central working committee in Bhopal last week, BMS said it has decided to take “strongest action including strike”.
“It is most unfortunate that in spite of passing of over 11 months, the government has not cared to make any attempt to implement them (demands) whereas every time anti-worker decisions are coming up so fast…,” it said.
“Therefore, the 136th Kendriya Karya Samithi (KKS) resolves to declare one day national strike on September 2.” The finance minister has invited BMS for a meeting on August 16 to discuss the labour issues, it added.
“Although the Samithi is apprehensive of the outcome of such a meeting considering the past experiences, KKS authorises the President and General Secretary of BMS to declare the strike after the result of August 16 meeting is known,” the union said.