While maintaining social-distancing norms Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Saturday held protests across Jammu and Kashmir to lodge their resentment against anti-worker and anti-people policies of the BJP government.
While demanding immediate halt to changes in labour laws, abrogating the rights won over after a struggle of 150 years among other demands, the protesters took serious note of the continuous aggressive attack on the workers’ rights, ignoring all the joint representations to the Government on the matter.
The Government not only failed in getting its own orders and advisories implemented in regard to payment of wages to workers, no retrenchments to be carried during lockdown period, the CITU leaders said while addressing the protest rallies.
Instead, it withdrew its own decision in the face of the case in Supreme Court by the employers of some companies. The Government did not heed to the demand of cash transfer of Rs. 7500/- to all non-income tax paying households including unorganised labour (registered or unregistered) for the months of April, May, June, neither the demand for Government support to pay the wages of workers of MSMEs for these three months. Neither our demand for workers safe journey home paid attention to.
The CITU leaders called upon the working class that after the observance of the Nationwide Protest Day today, a concrete form of non-cooperation and defiance including nationwide general strike will be decided by the joint platform of Central Trade Unions and independent Federations and Associations at appropriate time in the next phase.
They asked the government to immediately hold the long overdue Indian Labour Conference to dwell upon the 12-point charter of demands, the labour and trade union rights, issues of job losses, wages, job security and the migrant workers' issues.
We cannot accept lying down the designs for imposition of slavery on workers through total nullification of all labour laws; nor can we remain onlooker to the government project of wholesale privatization of our public sector undertakings (PSUs) through multi-pronged routes, they said.
The so-called Rs 20 lakh crore package of the government is nothing but a hoax and cruel joke on the suffering people. Modi Government has most insensitively dealt with the problem of COVID-19 as law and order issue instead of treating it as medical emergency for the human being and society. It has caused immense miseries to millions of workers, farmers and other vulnerable sections of the society. Whereas, the government stood only by corporates and big businesses, they added.
The CITU leaders said the scheme workers, ASHA, Anganwadi, MDM, 108 ambulance employees, etc and the nurses and doctors who are in the front ranks among the front line warriors working at the community level for combating Covid 19 Pandemic are agitated for their demands for safety measures not being addressed appropriately and neither they are provided proper health care on falling sick from COVID-19 infection, nor the social security and insurance coverage being extended to the families who are succumbing to the disease. The scheme workers are also being denied payment of honorarium for lockdown period.
ASHAs, Anganwadi employees, Doctors, Nurses, Safai Karamcharis, have been in the protests now and then in various parts of the country on similar demands. The CTUs support all these agitations on their just demands.