Central trade unions will announce one-day nationwide strike on September 2 to protest against government’s unilateral labour reforms and “anti-workers” policies.
However, the RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) has decided to opt out of the proposed strike on September 2.
“The central trade unions have reached a consensus to go on a day-long nationwide general strike on September 2, 2016 to protest against government’s unilateral labour reforms and anti-worker policies,” a source said.
The source, however, said, “BMS will not participate in the strike and thus will not sign the joint declaration to be unveiled at the National Convention of Central Trade Unions tomorrow.”
The unions had gone on a strike on September 2 last year also to protest against the amendments in labour laws by the Centre as well as state governments, saying their 12-point charter of demands was not paid heed.
The leaders of the central trade unions including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF would participate in their national convention tomorrow.
Unions have been opposing certain proposed labour law amendments which allow hire and fire, make it tougher to make labour unions and dilute existing social security net available to the workers at different fora.
Under the proposed Industrial Relations Code Bill 2015, the employers with up to 300 workers would not require government permission for retrenchment, lay off and closure.
Similarly, there is small factories bill which seek to exempt units with less than 40 workers from 14 labour laws.
These units will be able to buy provident fund and health insurance products for their workers from open market. Thus they would not be requried to subscribe to social security schemes run by EPFO and ESIC.
Last year, the government had formed an inter-ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to hold “threadbare discussions” with representatives of unions on their 10-point charter of demands and other issues raised for recommending measures to address those issues.
However, after few rounds of meeting with the trade unions to resolve issues, the panel has not discussed any issue with them after September 2 strike last year.
The ten unions to meet tomorrow, claim a combined membership of 15 crore workers in public as well as private sector enterprises including banks and insurance companies.