Sunday, August 30, 2015

Trade unions barring RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh to strike on September 2

NEW DELHI: All central trade unions barring the RSS-affiliated Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh on Friday decided to go ahead with their planned nationwide strike on September 2, saying the government failed to give a concrete proposal on their 12-point charter of demands.

"There is no reason for us to defer the planned strike and all 11 central unions will be on a one day nationwide strike to convey the discontent amongst workers," G Sanjeevareddy, chairman of the central trade unions coordination committee said after a three-hour meeting where the government offered some sops. However, BMS, which claims to be the second largest trade union in the country, feels that following the government's proposal, unions should give it time to deliver. "We have requested all central trade unions not to go on strike just for political reasons," Vrijesh Upadhyay, general secretary of BMS, said after the meeting. BMS feels that unions should give government six months to deliver on the proposals. "For the first time, the government has made a positive move on some of the issues. Let us give them some time to deliver," Upadhyay said. 

An inter-ministerial committee led by finance minister Arun Jaitley had on Thursday proposed to significantly increase minimum wages and make them mandatory across the country. It also suggested an increase in the bonus ceiling as well as widening the coverage of provident fund and health insurance to include construction workers and those in schemes such as aanganwadis.

The unions' decision to go ahead with the strike is a blow for the government that met trade union representatives thrice in July and twice in August to discuss their 12-point charter of demands. The government had assured them action on at least four of their key demands on Thursday while urging unions to reconsider their decision to go on strike. However, unions felt that whatever assurance has come is not meeting their demand and hence 10 of the 11 central trade unions will stage a one-day general strike next week. 

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