Strikes across India by disgruntled workers from different sectors

Doctors in Haryana, power loom workers in southern India and bank employees and aircraft maintenance technicians across the country are protesting for different reasons

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Amidst the raging pandemic, there seems to be no dearth of disgruntled workers calling strikes to get their demands fulfilled across India, from various sectors.

Several Central trade unions plan to call a two-day bank strike in the third week of Februrary, to voice their concerns over the privatisation of public-sector banks and the Central government’s worker-unfriendly policies.

Among other demands, the bank unions along with the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) are seeking the scrapping of the labour codes and the Essential Defence Services Act. To make themselves heard, they are planning a general strike on 23 and 24 February, 2022.

In Haryana, over 3,000 government doctors are going on a state-wide strike, due to which all out-patient department services will be adversely affected at government hospitals.

When the meeting of the doctors with senior state government officials did not materialise on January 10, they decided to call the strike, as planned, with support from the Haryana Civil Medical Services Association (HCMS).

While all routine services will be available on January 12 and 13, there will be a complete closure of services, including emergency services starting January 14, till the demands of the doctors are fulfilled. The doctors want a specialist cadre to be created and wish for the practice of direct hiring of senior medical officers to stop. They also seek revision of the postgraduate policy.

Meanwhile, in the aviation sector, the aircraft maintenance technicians of Air India are planning to go on strike on January 17 if their issues pertaining to job contract and salary revision are not sorted out. These technicians are on fix-term contract with Air India and are unhappy that their salaries have not been revised and that they have been subjected to salary deduction since May 2020.

Down South, the employees of the power looms of Tirupur and Coimbatore have been on an indefinite strike since January 9. They are demanding an increment in wages. Their abstinence from work is likely to cost heavy for the export industry, considering that over two lakh workers are directly employed at the power looms, while about three lakh work for them indirectly. These workers are demanding a wage revision that has been long overdue, ever since 2014.

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