The National Open Mass Convention of Workers organized by the ten Central Trade Unions namely INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC, independent federations and associations of various sectors including some independent unions called for a nationwide General Strike on 8 January 2020 against the anti-worker anti people anti-national policies of the Modi-2 Government.
The national economy is slowing down. The adverse effects are already being felt by the workers in unorganised as well as organised sectors in the form of large scale retrenchment and closures. In the name of the recession, the Central Government is taking steps such as reducing corporate taxes, and giving them big bonanza to the tune of Rs.1.45 lakh crores from the national exchequer while not a single penny is spent to ensure job security or employment allowance to the workers. The government measures are supply-side, when all the economists are unanimous that the crisis is on the demand-side.
While the Central Trade Unions are jointly demanding a national minimum wage of Rs 21000/- pm, pension to all, scrapping of NPS and restoration of the old pension scheme, control on price rise in essential commodities and for universal public distribution system, demanding generation of new jobs and filling up of sanctioned posts, regularisation of Scheme Workers in Government posts, of contract workers working against regular posts, ensuring equal pay for equal work, strengthening of Welfare Boards for Unorganised Sector workers, increased budgetary provision for MNREGA and agriculture, that will put money in the hands of the toilers and give boost to the economy, the Central Government is pushing codification of Labour Laws, allowing Fixed Term Employment, privatisation of PSUs, allowing 100 percent FDI in railways, defence, coal and other sectors, bank mergers and so on, that will lead to massive redundancies and extreme exploitation of workers. Now the Central Government has started reducing the contributions that the employers have to pay under the Provident Fund Act and the Employees State Insurance Act, justifying the move saying, this will increase the take-home pay of the workers. The Government openly states that these steps are being taken in the name of “ease of doing business”. The Government boasts that India’s ranking is going up in the World Bank Index of “Ease of doing business”. All this is being done at the expense of the working people.