“The 10 central trade unions have decided to go on strike on September 2, 2016, in a meeting of the coordination committee,” All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D L Sachdev said.
“The mandatory 2-week notice in the case of essential services like transport and power has already been served by the local units of our unions earlier this week. We are expecting over 10 crore people to participate in the strike.”
However, RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh is not part of this joint declaration as the next meeting with ministerial panel on labour issues headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on August 22 is awaited. The exclusive meeting between Jaitley-led ministerial panel and BMS representatives to discuss its demand remained “inconclusive” earlier this week on August 16. The other trade unions were not called for the meeting.
It was the first meeting of the ministerial panel with a central trade union over the 12-point charter of demands in almost a year. It had met trade unions on August 26-27, 2015.
“We have decided to go on strike on September 2, 2016. We have been called for another round of meeting with the group of ministers. If something positive happens, then we will see (decide otherwise),” BMS General Secretary Virjesh Upadhyay said.
Last year, BMS had opted out of strike on September 2, 2015, in view of the government’s positive assurances on the basic demands.
The joint declaration by the 10 central trade unions issued after Thursday’s meeting stated, “It is unfortunate that during the past one year, the group of ministers appointed for discussion with CTUOs (unions) on 12-point charter has not convened a single meeting, but has been only talking to BMS which has not joined the strike call.”
It added: “The CTOUs condemn the move of the central government to divide the workers in the face of ongoing strike campaign and create confusion through making misleading statements....”
Earlier on Thursday nearly 5 lakh bank union workers and officers decided to join the strike called by trade unions on September 2 to protest against what they call anti-people policies of the Modi government and labour reforms.
“There have been increasing attacks in the banking industry and the government has been taking steps which are anti-people. It’s attempting to privatise state-run banks and merge associate banks with State Bank of India. It is also looting the public money in the name of bad loans,”
All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C H Venkatchalam had said.