The general strike call by Central Trade Union (CTUs) has hit hard on state services such as Government services, Banking, Transport, etc. This came in the backdrop of Modi government’s anti-labour policies. As per trade unions, several amendments to labour law has led to this agitation.
The services remained suspended in Bihar on Tuesday and are expected to be so on Wednesday, as members of various trade unions – barring those associated with Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh gave a joint nationwide call for general strike.
In Patna, places such as Dak Bangla, Rajendra Nagar, Chitragupt Nagar, Hanuman Nagar witnessed the presence of workers from all sectors. Except for State Bank of India, all other public sector banks were shut on call of All India Bank Employees Union (AIBEU). More than 25,000 bank employees are said to be on strike. Even 300 employees of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are reported to have participated in the strike.
Bus and Auto unions have also extended their support to the strike which may affect the public transport to large extent on the second day. State secretary of All India Road Transport Worker’s Federation, Raj Kumar Jha said- Bihar State Auto Union along with other organization will participate against anti-labour policy of the government.
A rally from Deedarganj to Sabalpur and Kargil Chowk to Dankbangla took place with sloganeering against the state and central government. Apart from Patna- Gopalganj, Katihar, Purnea, Motihari, Darbhanga, Gaya, Supaul, Bojpur, Samastipur, Begusarai witnessed protests.
In conversation with Newsd, Mr. Ranvijay, the National Secretary of AICCTU said, The workers’ strike is a massive reflection of anger of workers and labourers in both the organised and unorganised sectors who are unhappy and angry at Modi government’s policies have participated in large numbers. This general strike is significant as scheme workers such as Mid Day Meal and ASHA workers have also registered their strong presence in comparison to previous years.
The 10 CTUs which have gone on strike include All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) had abstained from participation. The 12-point charter of demands that the trade unions have come up includes-
- Urgent measures for containing price-rise and unemployment;
- Universal social security cover for all workers,
- Minimum wages of not less than Rs. 18,000 per month with provisions of indexation,
- Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs and strategic sale,
- Stoppage of contractual work in permanent perennial work and
- Payment of the same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work, among others.