More than a million workers from at least 10 central trade unions (CTUs) are a part in this ‘Bharat Bandh’ today, the massive trade union strike, which is against the anti-labour policies of the Narendra Modi government.
The CTUs have further claimed that over 18 crore workers joined the all-India strike, in order to make it bigger than the one which was held last year, also on September 2.
The trade union workers were also joined by the employees of banks, telecom, public sector and factories who are seeking higher wages and also protesting against Modi’s “unilateral” labour reforms, investment policies and plans to close some loss-making firms.
WONDERING WHAT WILL BE AFFECTED AND WHAT WILL BE NOT? Here’s the list:
- Employees of at least of the six public sector banks will be joining the strike. This further means that the banking services will be affected by many banks already have communicated to their customers about the likely inconvenience.
- Private Banks and also ATMS, will remain functional.
- Surprisingly, Railways have also opted out of the Bharat Bandh. So, trains will be running smoothly.
- Commuters will have a tough time today as the public transport will be certainly hit. Many of the autorickshaw unions in cities like Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru have decided to keep off the roads today
- Schools and colleges have not declared any holiday either. So, they will remain open.
- Supply of the essential commodities, like milk and water, will not be affected.
- Services of sectors like electricity, telecom, insurance and mining seems to be affected. But the extent to which these services will be hit, is not yet known.
- The workers of state-run Coal India will be joining the bandh but company officials said they did not expect any shortfall in supplies for power companies.
- Factories will also remain closed.
- Medical shops will be open, as they are exempted from the strike call.
WHY THIS STRIKE? WHAT ARE THE DEMANDS?
The trade unions have demanded social security for the workers and also minimum wages of nothing less than Rs 18,000 per month.
They opposed the Centre’s proposal to hike minimum wages for the unskilled workers by up to 20 per cent, which means the wages would be Rs 12,000 per month for the Tier-I cities. The union rejected the proposal mentioning that the hike in wages should be considering the price rise.
The unions also want an assured enhanced pension, which should not be less than Rs 3,000 per month for all sectors, which includes the unorganised sector.
Workers also demand the removal of the FDI from railways, defence and other “strategic sectors”.