Friday, September 2, 2016

Strike by 10 trade unions to hit services today; PSUs to join

ESSENTIAL services such as banking, public transport and telecom may be hit today as 10 central trade unions (CTUs) will go on one-day nationwide strike against the 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 likely to go up 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.
CTUs are demanding that their 12-point charter of demands including stopping of foreign direct investment (FDI) in different sectors, disinvestment of the government’s stake in PSUs, price rise and implementation of labour reforms without proper tripartite consultation, etc, to be met.
“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 was quoted as telling a news agency.
Ports and civil aviation, 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 Ltd, GAIL, ONGC, NTPC, OIL, HAL and BHEL will observe the strike.
However, Indian Railways and other central government employees will not participate in the strike as the 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.
Workers are demanding Rs.18,000 minimum monthly wage which was accepted by the government on the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission.
Banking operations are likely to be hit as employees of six public sector banks (PSBs) have decided to join the stir that has been called by central trade unions to protest against “anti-labour policies” of the government.
Many banks have already communicated to their customers about likely inconvenience. Unions like All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA), Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), All India Bank Officers’ Association (AIBOA), All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) and Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC) have served notice, saying they will go on a one-day strike on 2 September.
Most banks, including SBI, feel that in case the strike goes ahead, their services are likely to be impacted. There is continuous attempt by the government to push their reforms agenda aimed at privatisation of banks, consolidation and merger of banks and the like.
However, the National Organisation of Bank Workers (NOBW) and the National Organisation of Bank Officers are not part of the strike.
Banks have taken necessary steps to ensure smooth functioning and that there is no cash crunch for retail customers, an official of a public sector bank said.

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