Expressing confidence that the government will meet their demands, the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has said that there is no need for them to join the nationwide September 2 strike called by the central trade unions. The strike was announced to protest against the BJP government’s “unilateral labour reforms and anti-worker policies”.
To discuss the issue with the trade unions, the government had formed a five-member team of Union ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, MoS Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and MoS Home Jitendra Singh. Except BMS, all other trade unions have supported the strike.
“We have learnt that the group of ministers met the Prime Minister today. Jaitleyji is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow and make a formal announcement,” BMS general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay told The Indian Express.
“We are hopeful that our demands will be met. There can be a formal announcement in this regard. Why do we have to go for a strike then?” BMS president Baij Nath Rai said.
He, however, said that their options were still “open”. “If our demands are not met, we can join the strike,” Rai said.
The BMS has held several rounds of talks with the GoM this month, a move that has left other unions annoyed.
“It is highly regrettable and shocking that the Group of Ministers formed by the government to discuss with the central trade unions on the 12 point charter of demands…is patronising and confiding with one union which is not a party to the call for general strike, by holding discussions with it while the central trade unions which have given the strike notice are ignored,” AITUC’s General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said.
The BMS, meanwhile, said that out of the 12 demands, both sides have agreed to drop four, and the government is expected to meet the remaining eight.