THE TWO-DAY strike by labour unions from Tuesday is likely to affect the services of BEST and other government offices such as banks, post offices and LIC, among others.
On Tuesday, workers are expected to gather at Azad Maidan at around 10.30 am as part of the strike.
“Around 25,000 workers are expected to gather at Azad Maidan. Then, some of the union leaders will address the gathering. Similar demonstrations will be held across the 36 districts in the state,” said Vishwas Utagi, convener of the Trade Union Joint Action Committee, an apex body of labour unions.
The labour unions’ demands include withdrawal of “anti-labour” changes in laws, immediate steps to control unemployment, minimum wages for all labourers, social security benefits such as employees provident fund to all labourers, Rs 6,000 monthly pension to farmers, farm labourers and labourers in unorganised sectors, status of government employees to scheme workers, equal work and equal pay and putting a stop to employing labourers on contract for continuous works for 12 months.
D L Karad, national vice president of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), said it is a fight for survival for labourers. “Banks, post offices, LIC, BSNL, private sector industrial workers, anganwadi workers, bidi and powerloom workers along with others are taking part in the two day strike,” he added.
He said a 12-point charter of demands was given to the Union government but the government has not taken any action.
“The anti-labour policies are not only destroying labourers’ lives but also causing major loss to the nation’s economy,” said Karad.
However, Suryakant Mahadik, president of Bharatiya Kamgar Sena, affiliated to the Shiv Sena, has decided not to take part in the strike. “Since it is a politically motivated strike, we have decided not to take part in it,” said Mahadik.
Meanwhile, All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) has also decided to support the two day strike. “The AIKS along with the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU) and like-minded organisations will actively campaign on demands of the peasantry and rural poor, hold protest demonstrations, rail roko, road roko and bring rural India to a standstill against the anti-peasant, anti-worker BJP government.” said Ashok Dhawale, national president of AIKS.