Bharat Bandh on January 8, 2020: Central Trade Unions (CTUs) have announced that around lakhs will participate in a nationwide strike on Wednesday to protest the “anti-people” policies of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. On Monday, the CTUs urged civil society to take part in the protest, which will begin at midnight.
In September 2019, a declaration was adopted by trade unions — INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC —along with various sectoral independent federations and associations to go on a nationwide strike on January 8, 2020.
“We expect participation of not less than 25 crores of working people in the forthcoming National General Strike on January 8, 2020, to be followed by many more actions seeking reversal of the anti-worker, anti-people, anti-national policies of the government. The Ministry of Labour has failed to assure any of the demands of workers which called a meeting on January 2, 2020. The attitude of the government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions,” the 10 central trade unions (CTUs) said in a joint statement according to PTI.
Also, to raise voice against increased fee structure and commercialization of education, about 60 organisations of students and elected office-bearers of some universities have also decided to join the strike. Also, over 175 farmers and agricultural workers unions will extend its support to workers’ demands and observe January 8 as Gramin Bharat Bandh along with their charter of demands.
Condemning the JNU violence and similar incidents in other university campuses, the trade unions expressed their solidarity with students and teachers all over India.
The unions will also protest against privatisation in railways, corporatisation of 49 defence production units and forced merger of banks. “As many as 12 airports are already sold out to private hands, 100 per cent sale of Air India is already decided, decision to sell BPCL taken, BSNL-MTNL merger announced and 93,600 telecom workers already thrown out of jobs under the garb of VRS (voluntary retirement scheme),” the statement read.
“The 24-hour strike called by all major trade unions will start at 12 am on Wednesday. National trade unions and organisations of government employees, bank, insurance employees jointly have called for a national strike… This is against the anti-labour policies of the Modi government. We are raising many demands including fixing of minimum wage for all workers at Rs 21,000 per month,” Elamaram Kareem, state general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions said.