September 1st, 2016
More than 15 crore workers from ten central trade unions (CTUs) are on a strike today, September 2 asking for higher minimum wages and to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s labour reforms. The trade unions are also seeking provision of social security to unorganised workers.
Why is the mass strike being called?
The CTUs and independent national federations of employees, including Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, have called for the strike for the implementation of social security measures. This includes allocating pension for post-2004 entrants in the central government, who have had to face cuts in interest on small savings deposits.
How much will it be effective?
According to All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Secretary Amarjeet Kaur, strike is going to be complete in industrial sectors such as transport, banks, factories, financial, power, coal, textile, port and dock, automobile, steel, oil, defence production, scheme, education and Central and State government employees.
What are the demands of the strike?
All the unions are demanding social security for workers and a minimum wage of Rs 18,000 per month.
For pension, they are asking not less than Rs 3,000 per month for all sectors, including unorganised workers.
They are asking for the removal of FDIs from railways, defence and öther strategic” sectors because they believe this would compromise on the security issues of the country.
What are the steps taken so far?
In a bid to deter the strike, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that the government has accepted the recommendations of the advisory board and raised the minimum wage from Rs 246 to Rs 350 per day for non-agricultural workers. He also announced that Central Government employees will get their two years bonus, which has been pending for quite some time.
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, affiliated to RSS, has opted out of the strike, but the striking unions said it would have no impact on the strike.
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