Central trade union to stage 3-day mass dharna before Parliament

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Ten Central Trade Unions have issued a joint statement stating that they will stage a three-day mass dharna in front of the Parliament beginning from 9 Nov, to protest against the policies of the Central government.

Over 50,000 workers from various states, sectors, and federations are expected to sit for dharna today. The trade unions have the complaint that the government has been ignoring the demands of the workers for a long time.

The joint statement issued read that “The Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions, comprising Central Trade Union Organisations and all major industry /establishment wise federations have decided to stage three days’ mass dharna before Parliament against the anti-worker, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Central Government on November 9-11, 2017.”

The ten central trade unions which have called for the protests are: Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC); All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC); Hind Mazdoor Sabha HMS); Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU); All India United Trade Union Centre (AICCTU); Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC); Self Employed Women s Association (SEWA); All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU); United Trade Union Congress (UTUC); Labour Progressive Federation (LPF).

The Joint Trade Union platform will represent employees and workers from all major sectors of industries and service and also employees of central and state government. The main sectors are coal, steel, transport, telecom, petroleum, electricity, port & docks, engineering, construction and from the government sectors it is banks, insurance, defense production, etc.

This decision of staging a dharna in front of the parliament to protest against the government is an attempt to give a wake up call to the government, who have been ignoring the unanimous demands of the union from past eight years.

The joint statement also declared that if the government continues to keep its ignorant attitude, the union will stir an indefinite nationwide strike. The statement read “It is a step towards preparation for the next higher phase of united struggles, including indefinite countrywide strike if the government continues to ignore the demands of the workers and proceed with its pro-corporate agenda.”

The union had provided a 12 point charter of demand to the Central government but, instead of giving a solution to the issues, the government officials kept ignoring it. Amarjeet Kaur of All India Trade Union Congress said that yesterday the talks held with the Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar had failed and it was like the government was not interested in even giving a thought to their problems, hence the decision of 3-day mass dharna was taken and if the government still does not pay any heed, the protest go on a nationwide strike.

A day ahead of the dharna, Amarjeet Kaur had informed that “Everyday different set of workers from various states and sectors would participate in the dharna. We are expecting over 50,000 workers’ presence tomorrow and subsequent days.”

The protesting Union is also upset with the failure on the part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of creating over two crore jobs every year and they are also suffering the repercussions of demonetization and GST. The unions said that “Everyday different set of workers from various states and sectors would participate in the dharna. We are expecting over 50,000 workers’ presence tomorrow and subsequent days.”

They also expressed their discontent with the decision of note ban and the badly implemented GST only added to their miseries as it only hiked the prices and jeopardized services, trade and various occupations. “Demonetisation, under the utterly false pretext of curbing black money, had further depressed wages and perpetuated closure of industries. It has shattered the entire economy, particularly the unorganized sector, the SME sector and the small traders and peasants… Even after one year, the economy is yet to recover from its damaging impact,” the union grudged.

The 12 point demand charter presented by the Union that the government has been arrogantly ignoring, included minimum wage, social security and workers’ status and accompanying benefits for the scheme workers.

Regarding the labour reform policies introduced by the government, the joint statement issued by the 10 central trade unions, also alleged that “In addition, in order to promote ease of doing business, the Govt has embarked on arrogant pro-employer amendments of all labour laws aimed at imposing conditions of slavery on the working people.”