Tuesday, November 10, 2020


The Central Trade Unions and several independent federations have called for a general strike on November 26 demanding the Centre withdraw the three Farm Acts and four Labour Codes. They said the policies of Narendra Modi Government are anti worker, anti farmer and anti national. 

An online convention of the ten CTUs also demanded the Centre transfer Rs. 7,500 per month to all families below the income tax limit, 10 kg free ration per person per month to all needy, expansion of the MGNREGA to provide 200 days’ work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages, extension of employment guarantee to urban areas, stop privatisation of public sector including the financial sector and stop corporatisation of Railways, Ordinance Factories and Ports. The convention has also asked the Centre to withdraw the circular on “forced premature retirement” of Government and PSU employees and demanded pension to all. 

“This convention extended full solidarity to the farmers who are demanding withdrawal of the anti farmer agri-laws which have been passed without even allowing voting on them and declared that the joint trade union movement would continue to support and express solidarity in all forms to their struggle at the national level as well as in any part of the country.,” a statement said. 

A resolution passed at the convention said faulty formulation and policy on GST and the sliding economy has put Government finances in difficulty, consequently drying up States’ finances. “RBI, LIC and various PSEs are being used as ATMs, only leading to further frenzy of privatisation of PSUs through auctions and 100 per cent FDI: be it railway routes, railway stations, railway production units, airports, port and docks, profit making Government Departments, coal mines, cash rich PSEs like BPCL, 41 Ordnance Factories, BSNL, Air India, road transports and so on. All these destructive measures are being hastily pushed through when the country is reeling under Covid-19 pandemic,” it said. 

The CTUs said the unplanned lockdown wrought untold miseries to crores of migrant workers, which make the stories of demonetisation pale by comparison. 

“It has been harder for women, who experienced increased harassment at workplaces, public places, as well as at home. The economy of the country came to a standstill, unemployment, especially of women, climbed to all time highest levels, while the GDP shrank as never before. The Government was never serious about their own advisories issued to the employers at the beginning of the lockdown - such as not to terminate workers, not to deduct wages for the lockdown period etc. They were tamely withdrawn when challenged by employers in the Supreme Court. But an opaque PMCARES Fund was floated where Corporates started contributing and Government employees were arm-twisted to contribute,” it claimed. 

The unions which were part of this convention are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC and independent federations and associations.


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