After the heat from the major regional parties, the UPA government is bracing for an attack from a rainbow partnership of trade unions (TUs).
For the first time, the Congress-affiliated INTUC, Left trade unions, RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and even Shiv Sena’s trade union arm Bhartiya Kaamgar Sena have joined hands against the policies of the Centre.
Adding to the strength, the UPA ally Indian Union Muslim League’s trade union wing STU will also join the all-India strike on 28 February.
The trade unions have called for a strike to protest inflation, disinvestment of profit-making PSUs, violation of labour laws, among other issues.
After roping in the BMS and the INTUC, the Left trade unions had approached the Shiv Sena’s trade union BKS to join their strike.
AITUC general secretary and CPI leader in Lok Sabha Gurudas Dasgupta spoke to Shiv Sena’s executive president Uddhav Thackeray. “I told him that there is no politics involved in this trade union movement and sought his support. He asked if all central trade unions are involved. When I said, yes, he agreed.”
“What is the harm if the Shiv Sena’s trade union joins our protests?” INTUC chief and a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) Sanjeeva Reddy told HT, “The workers’ issues are different from the ones related to political parties.”
STU of Kerala, according to sources, had already joined a few conventions with Left-led unions in Kerala last month.
As the support swells from various fronts, the leaders are expecting the strike would cripple the work in the defence, oil, post and telecom sectors. Banks and PSUs will also witness a major impact, claims Dasgupta.