A joint platform of central trade unions has given a call for a nationwide general strike on February 23 and 24 during the Budget Session of Parliament.
“The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Independent Sectoral All India Federations and Associations met in Delhi on 3rd December 2021, and finalised the dates for the countrywide 2-days’ general strike on 23-24 February 2021 during the budget session of Parliament as announced by the National Convention of Workers held on 11th November 2021 at New Delhi, against the anti-people, anti-worker and anti-national destructive policies of the BJP Government at the centre,” a joint statement said.
The main slogan of the strike will be ‘Save The People and Save The Nation’, it added.
The central trade unions — INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC — are part of this joint forum.
It was decided to hold joint preparatory public meetings in coordination with the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) leadership, especially in the states that are to going to polls at the beginning of 2022, to strengthen the call of ‘Mission UP’, ‘Mission Uttarakhand’ given by the SKM, the statement said.
The joint platform of trade unions and federations reiterated its continued proactive support to the programmes and struggles by the SKM, following the repeal of the Farm Laws.
The state units of the joint platform of central trade unions and independent sectoral federations will carry out intensive campaigns jointly through various means — such as state conventions, human chains, torchlight processions, signature campaigns, sectoral and area-based joint campaigns, among others, the statement said.
The joint platform also welcomes and supports the decision of two days’ countrywide strike in banks on December 16-17, 2021, by the United Forum of Bank Unions and the strike decision by Electricity Employees’ joint forum on February 1, 2021, against privatisation move and retrograde legislative move in that direction, it added.
“Our United Struggle is not only to save the rights and lives/livelihood of people but also save the country’s economy and the entire democratic system and the society as a whole from disaster and destruction being engineered by the authoritarian forces in governance with the active support of private corporate (entities), both domestic and foreign and decisively defeat the disastrous policy regime and their political operators in governance,” it stated.
The farmers’ movement has snatched a historic victory by forcing the government to repeal the three farm laws, the forum added.
“We have to demand from all political parties of the nation to incorporate ‘protection of the right to work, a living wage, free quality health-care and education-facility to all citizens and all legitimate constitutional rights’ as a firm commitment in their political manifestos for the coming assembly elections in 2022 and the elections scheduled for 2024,” it stated.
The trade unions’ demands include scrapping the Labour Codes; accept a 6-point charter of demands of the SKM post repeal of farm laws, no to privatisation in any form and scrapping the NMP (National Monetisation Pipeline).
The other demands are regularisation of contract workers, scheme workers and equal pay for equal work for all cancellation of NPS and restoration of old pension; a substantial increase in minimum pension under Employees’ Pension Scheme.