Bharat Bandh: Here’s All You Need To Know

08 January 2020


Bhubaneswar: Though Central Trade Unions (CTUs) namely INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC had called for the nationwide strike (Bharat Bandh) on Wednesday, various independent bodies and organisations have extended their support over different issues.

Earlier on September 30, 2019, the trade unions along with various sectoral independent federations and associations had adopted a declaration in its National Open Mass Convention of Workers at Parliament Street, New Delhi. The unions had chalked out programme of campaign at various levels in stages to culminate in a National General Strike on 8th January 2020.

The declaration stated, "The Ministry of Labour failed to assure on any of the demands of workers which called a meeting on 2nd January 2020. The attitude of the Government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions."

The CTUs alleged that it is more than 4 years there is no Indian Labour conference since the last held in July 2015. The last meeting held with Group of Ministers constituted to discuss 12 point charter of demands was held in August 2015. Since then nothing proceeded in that regard.

"Total disregard to Tripartism and Bipartism is the policy of this Government, as is expressive from its bulldozing the labour laws & forced codification with total disregard to any of the views of the trade unions," it added.

The CTUs also targeted the government for economic slowdown along with privatisation and sale of public sector undertakings. "The Government failing to tackle crises ridden economy is busy in privatizing and selling PSUs, natural resources and other national assets which is detrimental to the national interest and national development," the declaration mentioned.

It asserted that 12 Airports are already sold out to private hands, 100% sale of Air India is already decided, decision to sell BPCL taken, BSNL-MTNL merger announced and 93,600 telecom workers already thrown out of jobs under the garb of VRS.

The CTUs have also raised their voices against privatization of railways, corporatization of 49 defence production units, merger of Banks, 100% FDI in different sectors, privatization of power and road transport as well as encouragement to private insurance companies. They alleged that it is a policy to put the national assets and resources on sale.

A joint platform of more than 175 farmers and agricultural workers unions decided to extend their support to workers’ demands and observe Gramin Bharat Bandh today along with their charter of demands.

Besides, about 60 organisations of students and elected office bearers of some universities extended their solidarity and decided to take part in the nationwide strike with their agenda in regard to raised fee structures and opposition to commercialization of education.

"There have been attacks on students and teachers in various university campuses, the latest one being the brutal attack by motivated goons on students-teachers of JNU. We condemn such attacks and express our solidarity with students and teachers all over India, stated the declaration.

Mahendra Parida, Senior Leader, CPI (M-L)