Mumbai, Jan 3 (IANS) For the first time, the ruling ally in Maharashtra Shiv Sena will join the proposed all-India strike on January 8 called by Leftist parties, affiliated trade unions and different workers organisations, top leaders said here on Friday evening.
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, who attended a press conference along with various Leftist unions heads and Communist leaders, announced the party’s decision to fully support and join the strike called for various demands of the working classes.
“Many of you are astonished to see me herea but this is in solidarity with the cause of the workers of this country. In the past five years, the government has initiated many anti-labour policies which we strongly oppose,” said Raut.
He said that in Maharashtra, there is a Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress alliance Maha Vikas Aghadi government which is supported by the working classes.
“There will be questions – why are we going on strike despite being in government? Maharashtra and Mumbai have been at the forefront for the cause of the labour class always in the pasta Once again, we will take to the streets for the cause of the workers,a Raut said.
Targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre, Raut said that it had promised to create two crore jobs, but has actually snatched away five crore jobs.
“They had promised to strengthen the US Dollar versus the Indian Rupee, but the same government has removed Rs 1.75 lakh-crore from the Reserve Bank of India. It is selling off some of the best companies like Air India, railways, oil companies, government lands, etc. How will they run the country,” he demanded sharply.
Taking a swipe at the government, he said that if this trend continues, a time will come when even parliament, police and armed forces will be handed over to a few persons.
To a question on the response to the proposed strike, he pointedly said that whenever Shiv Sena calls for a strike, its repercussions are felt on the entire country’s economy.
Speaking on the occasion, Maharashtra Trade Unions Joint Action Committee (TUJAC) Convenor Vishwas Utagi said that the strike action will be for a 12-point demand from the Centre.
“We shall demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi to roll-back all anti-labour laws, control the runaway inflation, take measures to reduce unemployment and job-losses, fix a minimum monthly age of Rs.21,000, abolishing the contract labour systems, hike in dearness allowance, scrapping upper limits on eligibility criteria for bonus, registration of unorganized, empowerment of tri-party systems, etc.
Besides workers organisations, the Jan. 8 action will see participation of all the banking unions and farmers organisations, said Utagi.
The major national-level union joining the strike will be All India Trade Union Congress, Indian National Trade Union Congress, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, All India Bank Employees Association, etc.