Essential services such as banking, public transport and telecom may be hit on as 10 central trade unions (CTUs) will go on one-day nationwide strike against government’s “indifference” towards their demands and effecting “anti-worker” changes in labour laws.
The unions have claimed that this year’s strike will be bigger as the number of striking workers is expected to swell to as much as 18 crore, larger than last year when around 14 crore workers participated.
The CTUs will strike work protesting against what they call the government’s apathy towards their 12-point charter of demands including a monthly minimum wage of Rs 18,000, controlling price rise and assured minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000.
“This time strike will be bigger than last year as over 18 crore workers from formal and informal sectors would come on streets to protest against government’s indifference to their 12-points charter of demands and unilateral anti-worker labour law amendments,” Trade Union Coordination Committee (TUCC) General Secretary S P Tiwari told PTI.
He further said, “Besides ports and civil aviation, the essential services like transport, telecom and banking will be paralysed. The workers will go on strike in hospitals and power plants but the protest will not affect their normal functioning.”
He said workers in central public sector undertakings like Coal India, GAIL, ONGC, NTPC, OIL, HAL and BHEL will observe strike on Friday.
However, Indian Railways and other central government employees will not participate in strike as government has already constituted a committee to look into their demand of raising monthly minimum wage from Rs 18,000 to about Rs 26,000 under the 7th Pay Commission.
Tiwari said: “We are not asking for more. We are demanding Rs 18,000 minimum monthly wage which was accepted by the government on the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission.”
He was of the view that the demand is reasonable in the backdrop of price rise. Delhi Government has already hiked monthly minimum wage to Rs 14,052, Rs 15,032 and Rs 18,000 for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers respectively.