This Article is From Jan 07, 2020

Government's Warning Ahead Of Trade Unions' 24-Hour Strike: 10 Points

Trade union leaders have claimed the government has failed to tackle challenges posed by a crisis-ridden economy and is, instead, busy privatising and selling PSUs

At least 10 trade unions have called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday (File)


  • 10 groups under Centre of Indian Trade Unions call for strike
  • Trade unions are protesting "anti-labour" policies of BJP government
  • 25 crore likely to take part, as well as 175 agricultural workers' unions
New Delhi: The government has warned central trade unions of "consequences" if they go on a proposed 24-hour nationwide strike starting 6 am Wednesday. Around 25 crore workers are expected to participate in the strike which has been called by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) to protest the "anti-labour policies" of the BJP government and press for demands like fixed minimum wage and equal wage for equal work. At a press conference held yesterday, which was attended by at least nine other organisations - except the BJP-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh - CITU claimed the centre's policies and labour laws had affected 80 crore people - in both organised and unorganised sectors - and also said the country was going through a "major crisis".

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. "Any employee going on strike in any form would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action," an order issued by the Ministry of Personnel said today. In its order the ministry said government servants were prohibited from participating in strikes or protests.

  2. Quoting a Supreme Court ruling, the order urged government officers "not to sanction casual leave asked for by employees during the period of the proposed strike" and called on the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to keep vigil.

  3. At yesterday's press conference CITU flagged several concerns, including the fixing of a minimum wage for all workers. "We are raising many demands including fixing of minimum wage for all workers at Rs. 21,000 per month," Elamaram Kareem, a Kerala CITU leader, was quoted by news agency PTI.

  4. "We expect workers from petroleum, transport, electricity, engineering and other industries to join the strike in a big way. Among the unorganised sector, we expect all women workers, government scheme workers and construction sector workers to join as well," Tapan Sen, CITU General Secretary, told NDTV today.

  5. Trade union leaders have claimed the government has failed to tackle challenges posed by a crisis-ridden economy and is, instead, busy privatising and selling public sector units (PSUs). The government's actions are "detrimental to the national interest and national development," they said.

  6. "As many as 12 airports already sold to private hands... 100 per cent sale of Air India decided... decision to sell BPCL taken... BSNL-MTNL merger announced and 93,600 telecom workers out of jobs," the unions said.

  7. Union leaders were referring to plans to privatise national carrier Air India - something Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said was the "only choice" - and oil refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) - last month the centre approved the sale of 53.29 per cent to raise around Rs. 1 lakh crore.

  8. Last week Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar held a meeting with trade union leaders but failed to convince them to call off the strike. The unions are also unhappy about the lack of Indian Labour Conferences - a meeting with the Ministry of Labour and Unemployment - has not been held since 2015.

  9. The strike is expected to draw members from a number of other trade unions like the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the All India Trade Union Congress, the Self Employed Women's Association and the Labour Progressive Federation.

  10. A joint platform of more than 175 farmers and agricultural workers' unions said it will support the workers' demands and observe Wednesday as Gramin Bharat Bandh.

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