New Delhi: 10 Trade unions called a Bharat Bandh today. The Left – affiliated central trade unions called for a nationwide strike on 2nd September to protest against the anti-labour polices of central government.
Kerala, Much of Karnataka has shut down, but in Delhi and Mumbai buses are running and essential services like water and power supply have not been affected.
Employees of six public sector banks also joined the strike. The customers may face the inconvenience.
Latest Developments of Bharat Bandh are as:
- The trade unions claim that 1.8 million workers are on strike today to protest against investment policies and new labour policies and to demand better pay.
- Public sector banks are closed across the country, but private banks are working in most states and customers can access ATMs.
- Radiologists and Staff Nurses have separately announced an indefinite strike for better wages, but have said that they will attend to emergency cases. A group of staff nurses protesting in Delhi were allegedly manhandled by police before being dragged into buses and detained.
- Chief Minister of Bengal Mamata Banerjee has said that her government will not allow offices or factories to close and that public transport will run as usual.
- Public transport remained unaffected in Delhi and State Bank of India did not adhere to the bandh unlike in other states. Government banks and offices remained shut in Mumbai.
- In Left-ruled Kerala, government offices, colleges and schools are closed and all public transport is off the roads in kerala.
What are the demands of Trade Unions?
The trade unions have opposed the proposal of government to hike minimum wage for unskilled workers by up to 20 per cent to Rs 12,000 per month for Tier-I cities. The unions are also demanding social security for workers and a minimum wage of not less than Rs. 18,000 per month.
They also want an assured increased pension of not less than Rs. 3,000 per month for all sectors, including un-organised workers. They also want FDI to be removed from defense and railways.
How big is the strike?
The trade unions have claimed that the strike will be bigger this years as the number of striking workers is expected to 18 crore. Workers in central public sector undertakings like BHEL, HAL, OIL, NTPC, ONGC, GAIL, and Coal India will participate in the strike.
Stand of the Government on the Strike:
To convince the trade unions to call off the strike, on Tuesday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government will release the bonuses of the state employees for the last two years, and increase minimum wages for unskilled labourers.