Bharat Bandh: Joint Platform Of Trade Unions Plan 2 Day Strike On Labour, Farmer Issues!

by GoNews Desk 2 months ago Views 10296

Bharat Bandh Trade Unions CPM CPI CITU Bank Worker
Trade unions across the country called for a two-day ‘Bharat bandh’ strike on March 28th and 29th against the Centre’s policy of privatization. In response to the call, the organizations of the Left parties held roadblocks and stopped trains In many parts of West Bengal.

The leaders and cadre of communist parties held agitations on railway lines in Jadhavpur, Dumdum, Barasat, Syamnagar, Belgharia, Joynagar Domjur, and other locations, although they were later persuaded by police to call it off and allow trains to function.


Similar agitations were seen in Medinipur, West Bardwan, Jalpaiguri, Koochbihar, Birbhum, Hogly, North 24 Paragana, South 24 Paragana, and Howda districts, which also disrupted train services for a few hours.

The strike by the joint platform of several trade unions such as the CITU, INTUC, AITUC, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC is being supported by the All-India Bank Workers Union.

This is the second joint nationwide strike called by trade unions. The first was held after the Narendra Modi government returned to power at the Centre in 2019.

20 Crore Staff And Workers Expected To Participate In Strike

The decision for the strike was finalized on March 22nd after a meeting of different trade unions, during which it was resolved to oppose the “anti-farmer, anti-worker, anti-people, and anti-national” policies of the Central government.

Other than the privatization of public banks, the bank workers’ union is supporting the strike for standing against the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. The trade unions had claimed that their strike also has the support of staff in roadways, transport, and power workers. 20 crore workers are expected to take part in the strike.

WB, Maharashtra Govts Move Against Strike!

The West Bengal and Maharashtra governments have directed its employees to be present at work for both days that the strike has been called. The Maharashtra government invoked the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) to ensure their continued functioning. It has stated that the consumption of electricity has increased in Maharashtra amid a shortage of coal, and agitating at this time would negatively impact farmers, workers, and ordinary people.

Effect Of Strike Seen In Many States

Transport, railway services, and businesses have been impacted in Haryana, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala as trade union members and supporters took to the streets today.

Members of the Haryana Roadways Union agitated at the ISBT Panchkula today and were met with a deployment of police to prevent untoward incidents. According to media reports, only 33% of buses are operational in Tamil Nadu today. An English daily reported that out of the 3,175 public buses in Chennai that are operated and maintained by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation, only 318 are running.

Members of Left Parties and the DMK demonstrated in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament Complex to express their support.

Public sector banks in the national capital are closed on the first day of the nationwide strike.

Supporters and Opponents Of Trade Unions’ Strike

The BJP-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh has called the strike ‘politically motivated’ and has thus refused to join the strike:

 

 

Whereas the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) that led the agitation against the three farming laws throughout 2020 and 2021 said that it will lend its support to the strike.

 

 

The CPI(M) has lent its support to the 6-point list of demands put forward by the SKM. The left as a whole has been speaking on increasing mutual solidarity and coordination between movements by workers and farmers. The pressure to accept the 6-point demands is being created by the Congress’ INTUC, CPM’s CITU, CPI’s AITUC, and other trade unions mentioned earlier.

 

 

What Are The Demands Of The Trade Unions?

The main demands of the striking trade unions is the repeal of the proposed changes in labour laws, increasing wages under the MNREGA, regularization of contractual labour, stopping all privatization, and ending the National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) policy.

Other than these, they demand the withdrawal of Central government policies wich affects common people. During the ongoing Budget session of the Parliament, CPI(M) MP Bikashranjan Bhattacharya moved a motion in the Rajya Sabha under rule 267 to enable discussion of the Bharat Bandh and adjourning the House for the same.

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