Location India India

Trade union organizations are launching a call for a national strike in India

The Indian government is attempting to exclude 90% of the labour force from Labour Legislation’s field of application
Throughout the country, trade union organizations are launching a call for a national strike at the beginning of September.
Since Narendra Modi has become Prime Minister and the BJP (the Indian Peoples’ Party) has been in power after the last national elections, the workers have been opposed to the politics of this government which favour the business world and the major companies, and which received considerable financial backing from the major companies, helping them into power.
Not long after coming into power, and in the name of “simplifying labour legislation”, the Modi government began to insistently propose the elimination of all the existing laws that codify labour.
What the government is trying to do is to reduce existing Labour Legislation to make it more favourable to the bosses and to make it much more to organize and register trade unions.
The government has also presented another labour law called “project for the small enterprises”, which decrees that the fourteen main labour laws will not apply to companies who employ less than forty people.
The BJP is furthermore attempting to make affiliation to the Employees Protection Funds optional, as well as affiliation to civil servants’ healthcare insurance. These are both, today, mandatory.
With these decisions, the government is attempting to exclude 90% of the labour force from Labour Legislation’s field of application.
The trade union confederations are radically opposed to these decisions. They demand that a realistic minimum wage of 18,000 rupees per month be set, in relation to consumer prices and with Social Security allocations and retirement pensions. Last year, on September 2nd 2015, the trade unions and the independent confederations organized a massive general strike throughout the whole country to oppose the anti-labour politics of the government. The unions had submitted a 12-point charter of demands to the government. Since then, practically nothing has happened.
The Modi government is little inclined to listen to the workers, and not even to the voice of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) the trade union of its own party, the BJP.
In order to express their discontent at the lack of haste with which the Modi government has responded to their demands, the trade union and independent confederations organized a day of protest, which took place throughout the country on 10 March 2016, along with protest actions.
All the Indian trade union confederations (1) and the national confederations of the banks, insurance, defence industries, railway workers and State and regional civil servants have launched a call for a national strike on September 2nd 2016, to protest against the anti-labour politics of the government.
(1) The AITUC, the CITU INTUC, UTUC, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, HMS, BMS, SEWA, LPF

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