A joint platform of 10 central trade unions on Wednesday decided to press the government for free universal vaccination, Rs 7,500 per month cash transfer for poor families and free 10 kg ration for them, among others, during the pandemic.
The unions will also protest against the “anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people policies” of the government on May Day (Saturday), stated a statement issued by the joint platform.
The joint platform has written a letter to the Prime Minister regarding their demands.
The trade unions deplore the “callous attitude” of the government in handling the COVID-19 crisis, the statement said.
The 10 central unions taking part in the agitation on May Day are Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).
The statement said the joint platform calls upon the workers and toiling people to observe the forthcoming May Day, the international working class solidarity day, through jointly organising agitation in several locations throughout the country to press for their demands.
The unions urged the government to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production and ensure universal free vaccination within a definite time frame as well as free supply of oxygen in the present situation.
The unions also demanded adequate hospital beds, oxygen and other medical facilities to meet the COVID surge.
They have asked the government to scrap the ”pro-corporate” vaccine policy and strengthen the public health infrastructure, including recruiting the necessary health personnel.
They also said any order under the Disaster Management Act issued by any authority, imposing restrictions in movement and curfew, must be accompanied by a strict order to all employers banning retrenchment, wage-cuts and eviction from residences.
The platform also asked the Centre to scrap the ”anti-worker” Labour Codes and anti-people farm laws as well as the Electricity Amendment Bill.
They also want the government to stop privatisation and disinvestment.
They demanded a cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for all non-income tax paying families and 10 kg free foodgrains per person per month for the next six months.
The unions have asked the authorities to ensure that non-COVID patients get effective treatment in government hospitals.
They also sought availability of protective gear and equipment for all healthcare and frontline workers and those engaged in pandemic-management work, including ASHA and anganwadi staffers, along with comprehensive insurance coverage for all of them.