Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Hindu Business line  OUR BUREAU

Protest against ‘anti-labour policies’ of Centre
VISAKHAPATNAM, JULY 19: 

Trade unions have drawn up plans to observe a strike on September 2 against “the anti-labour policies of the Narendra Modi government,” according to Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) president G Sanjeeva Reddy.

He was here to participate in the biennial general body meeting of the East Coast Railway Shramik Congress on Tuesday.

Curbs on workers’ rights

Addressing the media, along with National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) general secretary M Raghavaiah, Reddy said the NDA government was “rolling out the red carpet to MNCs while trampling upon the rights of Indian workers and watering down indigenous production units and industries.”

He criticised the decision of the Rajasthan, Haryana and Maharashtra governments to impose heavy penalties if workers resorted to strikes. On the other hand, MNCs are invited to invest in India and take away the profits. He said the INTUC was opposed to FDI in Railways and defence sector and disinvestment in PSUs.

‘No double standards’

He said the INTUC had opposed the divestment of PSUs even during the UPA regime and the union was not indulging in double talk. All the major trade unions including the AITUC, CITU and BMS had joined hands with the INTUC and are supporting the general strike against the anti-worker policies of the Centre, he said.

The Union Labour Minister had appealed to the trade unions not to go ahead with the September 2 strike but the plea would be considered only if the major demands such as abolition of the contract system, regularisation of services and stopping divestment are conceded by the government, he said.

Blow to domestic units

NFIR general secretary Raghavaiah alleged that the Centre was importing railway coaches from Spain, depriving indigenous railway production units. MoUs have been signed with US and Japanese companies to set up diesel and electric locomotive factories in Bihar.

He expressed apprehensions that slowly the indigenous locomotive manufacturing units at Chittaranjan, Varanasi and Jhansi may be closed down.
(This article was published on July 19, 2016)

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