Trade Unions likely to give strike call for Sept-2

New Delhi: Trade unions including BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) are likely to announce general strike on September 2, to protest against government’s indifference towards their 10-point agenda and unilateral labour reforms.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya
Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya

The formal announcement for one day general strike on September 2, is expected to be made here tomorrow at the National Convention of Central Trade Unions.

“As many as 11 trade unions including BMS were unanimous to go on a one day strike to protest against government’s unilateral labour reforms and indifference towards 10-points charter of workers organisations,” said a source who attended the meeting.

The source further said: “The central trade unions will make formal announcement tomorrow regarding one day strike on September 2 and declaration on government anti-worker and anti-people polices.”

In the wake of unions protest, the government has constituted an inter-ministerial panel on Saturday to hold “threadbare discussions” with representatives of unions on 10-point charter of demand and other issues being raised by them and for recommending measures to address those issues.

The members of the panel are: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh.

Earlier this month, the Labour Ministry had convened a meeting of 12 central trade unions to discuss issues related to their 10-point charter and reservations against certain changes in labour laws.

Besides Dattatreya, Goyal and Pradhan had attended the meeting with trade unions.

The central trade unions’ 10-point agenda includes demands seeking government steps to deal with issues like price rise and unemployment.

Providing universal social security cover for workers and stopping disinvestment of PSUs are also part of demands.

Later, the unions added two more demands –scrapping the decision to allow foreign investment in railways and defence and “unilateral” changes in labour laws.

Unions have been opposing certain proposed labour law amendments which encourage hire and fire, makes it tougher to make labour unions and diluting existing social security net available to the workers at different fora.

Under the proposed Industrial Relations Code Bill 2015, the employers with up to 300 workers would not require government permission for retrenchment, lay off and closure.

The bill also makes it tougher to form trade unions in the country. It proposed that 10 per cent of total workers would be required as applicant to register a trade union.

It is proposed that the minimum number applicant shall be 7 and maximum number of applicant shall be 100. At present, 7 applicants are required to register a trade union.