India’s 10 central trade unions will be on a nationwide strike today, September 23, against the three labour codes, which they feel go against the interest of the workers in the country. They are also raising their voices against disinvestment and privatisation of public-sector enterprises, including 100 per cent foreign direct investment in certain primary sectors of the economy.
While the Lok Sabha has passed the three codes — on industrial relations, health & safety and social security — with the aim of reforming the old and outdated Indian Labour Laws and benefit employers as well as workers, the unions are of the opinion that these three Bills do not have the workers’ interests in mind. They are also demanding lockdown wages for workers, and are seeking assurance of no layoffs and no wage cuts during lockdown period.
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC); All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of India 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 the United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) are the central trade unions that are going on strike.
These trade unions are also lending support to a countrywide agitation by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee on September 25, in protest against the legislations that they feel go against the people and the farmers of the country.
Additionally, the unions have been asking for universal public distribution of ration to all needy sections of the population along with cash transfer of Rs 7500 per month to the self-employed workers and those working in the unorganised sector, for a minimum of six months.
Through the agitation the farmers wish to raise their voices against the Government’s plan to rehaul the management of the agricultural economy and farm trade, which they feel take away the rights and entitlements of the agriculturalists.