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RSS offshoot threatens to boycott labour conference

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By, New Delhi
Feb 09, 2018 11:18 PM IST

The RSS offshoot, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, is also going to observe February 20 as ‘black day’ to register its dissatisfaction with the budget, which it says has failed to address issues of the labour sector.

The labour and trade union arm of the RSS has threatened to pull out of the upcoming Indian Labour Conference (ILC), which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, unless its demands for protecting the labour sector are met by February 25.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, an offshoot of the RSS, has been at loggerheads with the government over economic policies, which it alleges are not labour friendly.(Ravi Choudhary/HT File Photo)
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, an offshoot of the RSS, has been at loggerheads with the government over economic policies, which it alleges are not labour friendly.(Ravi Choudhary/HT File Photo)

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh in its national executive held over the weekend in Gujarat resolved to observe February 20 as ‘black day’. The organisation will hold nationwide protests to register its dissatisfaction with the budget, which it says has failed to address issues of the labour sector.

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The offshoot of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the BJP, has been at loggerheads with the government over economic policies, which it alleges are not labour friendly and do not augur well for domestic production and the small-scale sector in the country.

According to the BMS, the budget does not take into account its demands to bring contractual workers under the social security net. “We will not attend the conference scheduled for February 26-27 and organise a demonstration outside the ILC venue if the government does not address our demands,” said BMS president CK Saji Narayanan.

So far, only BMS-affiliated unions have been asked to boycott the conference if the demands are not met. However, the BMS functionary said they were contemplating asking other trade unions to join their protest.

“Representatives of various central trade unions have raised these issues with the government; yet the budget was silent on these issues,” Narayanan said.

On the BMS’s charter are demands to increase the honorarium for anganwadi workers, enhance EPS pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, provide special funds to sick PSUs, which can be revived; hike the income tax exemptions to salaried sections up to Rs 5 lakh and implement the Supreme Court verdict on ‘equal pay for equal work’.

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