Trade unions to strike nationwide on 8-9 Jan over labour reforms

Ten national trade unions representing about 200 million workers have come together for a 2-day nationwide strike on 8 and 9 January in protest against the government’s alleged anti-worker policies.

AITUC general secretary Amarjeet Kaur said 10 CTUs have joined hands to go on the strike and 200 million workers are expected to participate in the Bharat Bandh. "This is the largest number of workers from formal and informal sectors joining the strike against anti-people and anti-worker policies of the BJP-led central government," Kaur said while addressing a joint press conference of the trade unions.
Kaur said sectors like banking, education, coal, steel, telecom, health, electricity, insurance and transport, inter alia, are likely to extend support to the strike.
"We will go on a protest march from Mandi House to Parliament in New Delhi on Wednesday. Similar protests would be done across the country," she said.
The trade unions are protesting against the government’s unilateral moves for labour law reforms, Kaur said: “We have given suggestions on labour codes. But during the discussion...trade unions' demands were rejected. We went on strike on September 2, 2016. We also did 3-day 'Mahapadav' (agitation) from November 9-11 in 2017. But the government did not come for dialogue rather went ahead with unilateral labour reforms.”
The 10 central trade unions supporting the strike include Indian National Trade Union Congress, All India Trade Union Congress, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Trade Union Coordination Centre, Self Employed Women's Association, All India United Trade Union Centre, All India Central Council of Trade Unions, Labour Progressive Federation, and United Trade Union Congress.
"The government has failed to create jobs and grossly ignored unions' 12-point charter of demands. The group of ministers headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley on labour issues has not called unions for any discussion since September 2, 2015 strike. This has left us with no other option but to go on strike," Kaur said.
The trade unions also claimed that the government went on with its "aggressive attack with arrogance on the lives and livelihood of the working people". They also raised their voice against the proposed amendments in Trade Union Act, 1926, calling them irrational.
Student and teacher organisations of various universities are also supporting the strike.
Traders have rejected the Bharat Bandh call, saying they will keep their establishments open on 8 and 9 January. RSS’ affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) also will not participate in the strike tomorrow.