The BMS has said the government must review the Union Budget it presented last week immediately to address its demands or it will not only skip an important labour conference to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 26, but will also hold large demonstrations on that day.
"After a long gap of three years, the 46th Indian Labour Conference is scheduled to be held on 26th and 27th February, 2018, at New Delhi, which will be inaugurated by Prime Minister himself," the BMS said in a statement, adding that its national executive committee has directed workers to hold "huge demonstrations" on that day to "mount pressure of Central Government to resolve labour issues".
Before that, BMS unions have been told to observe February 20 as a black day and wear black badges and hold demonstrations. The BMS has alleged that PM Modi's government has not kept promises made to a delegation in November last and has accused it of a "negligent attitude" to labour problems.
"The Union Budget 2018 is completely against the middle class and workers. During the pre-Budget meeting with the finance minister, we had asked for salary hike for Anganwadi and midday meal workers. But those main demands have been completely ignored in the Budget. It seems the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh was used in the pre-Budget meeting only as a formality," BMS Zonal Secretary Pawan Kumar told NDTV.
The BMS has earlier protested against the BJP government on matters like labour reform policies and Foreign Direct Investment. In November last year, tens of thousands of workers associated with BMS had protested on Parliament Street in the national capital, demanding better wages for workers and opposing reform initiatives.
In Parliament, the Telugu Desam Party of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu continued protests on Friday demanding special status for the state, not appeased by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's assurance on Thursday that a decision on a special package would be finalised in the next few days.
Top BJP leaders have held multiple meetings with an angry TDP that says the Union Budget neglected Andhra Pradesh and has indicated that it will review their alliance if its demands are not met.