A large number of readers, who visited my blog today had a two questions on their minds, one is will they be affected by the strike and other is what are the demands of the Unions. As I have already said in my blog dated 17.2.2013, 11 central unions and many other unions like Central Government Employees Unions, Bank Unions, Mumbai Taxi and Rikshshaw Unions etc. are taking part in the strike.
The Bandh on 20th and 21st February, is called by Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and supported by Confederation of Central Government Employees, United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU) consisting of nine national level unions including AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF, NOBW and AIBOC.
Among the political parties, Shivsena in Maharashtra has confirmed it will take part in the strike which will paralyze Mumbai. CPI and left parties are going to strike in West Bengal and Kerala. The state governments of Odisha, Bihar and Karnataka are also supporting the strike. This leaves just about Congress ruled states, but the opposition parties in those state may try to enforce the Strike. Petrol pumps are expected to also join the strike.
Insofar only Railways and Airlines are not participating in the strike.
Many other unions are also expected to be taking part in the strike. The demands of the different unions are different, but one demand is common to all unions that is the rising inflation and price rise. The disinvestment in public sector units and non-implementation of labour laws are some other demands. The banks on the other hand are demanding rollback of privatisation of banks, banking sector reforms and any plan for merger of banks. The Sharad Rao controlled Union, which has control in Taxi, Rickshaw, BEST, etc is striking for enforcing minimum wage of Rs 10,000, strict enforcement of labour laws, recognition of trade unions in all establishments, same wage for contract workers, implementing the policy on hawkers.
This is the gist of their demands, a full note of the demands is appended below. You are therefore better advised to remain home or go for outing, but be sure to fill in extra petrol before you embark on any tour. As of now the Strike seems to be certain, if I get any news about anything contrary I will post it.
PS : 7.00 am 20.2.2013 :As expected, in a sudden U turn Mr.Sharad Rao has decided not to support the strike. Only 'Industrial Unions' will take part in strike says Mr.Rao. So Mumbai is back to normal with Rikshaws and taxis plying. I will report about rest of the country as news flows in.
The demands list is huge I am appending the demands below:
PART – I
Take concrete measures to contain Price rise.
Take concrete measures for linkage of employment protection with the concession / incentive package offered to the entrepreneurs.
Ensure strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violation of labour laws.
Universal social security cover for the unorganised sector workers without any restriction and creation of a National Social Security Fund with adequate resources in line with the recommendation of NCEUS and Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour.
Stoppage of disinvestment in Central and State PSUs.
No Contractorisation of work permanent/perennial nature and payment of wages and benefits to the contract workers at the same rate as available to the regular workers of the industry / establishment.
Amendment of Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage irrespective of the schedules and fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs.10,000/-.
Remove all ceilings on payment and eligibility of Bonus, Provident Fund; Increase the quantum of gratuity.
Assured statutory Pension for all.
Ensure Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of the ILO Conventions Nos.87 and 98.
PART – II
Revise the wages of the Central Government employees including Gramin Dak Sewaks with effect from 1.1.2011 and every five years thereafter by setting up the 7th CPC.
Merge DA with Pay for all purposes with effect from 1.1.2011 including for Gramin Dak Sweaks.
Remove restriction imposed on compassionate appointments and the discrimination on such appointments between the Railway workers and other Central Government Employees.
[a] Departmentalise all Gramin Dak Sweaks and grant them all benefits of regular employees; End Bonus discrimination and enhance bonus ceiling to 3500/-; Withdraw open market recruitment in Postman / MTS cadre; Revise cash handling norms; Grant full protection of TRCA; Grant Time Bound Promotion and Medical Reimbursement facility etc.
[b] Regularise the daily rated, contingent, casual workers and introduce a permanent scheme for periodical regularization. Pending regularization, provide them with pro-rata salary at 6th CPC rates.
(a) Revive the functioning of the JCM. Convene the meeting of the Departmental Councils in all Ministries/Departments. Settle the anomalies raised in the National Anomaly Committee as also in the Departmental Anomaly Committees. Hold National Council meetings as specified in the JCM constitution. (b) Remove the anomalies in the MACP Scheme.(c) Grant recognition to all Associations/Federations, which have complied with the formalities and conditions stipulated in the CCS(RSA) Rules.
Fill up all vacant posts and creates posts n functional requirements.
Stop downsizing outsourcing, contractorization, corporatization and privatization of Government functions.
Stop Price rise; Strengthen the PDS.
(a) Stop the proposal to introduce the productivity linked wage system; (b) discard the performance related pay structure; (c) introduce PLB in all Departments; (d) remove the ceiling on emoluments for bonus computation.
Revise the OTA, Night duty allowance and clothing rates.
Implement all arbitration awards.
Make the right to strike a legal and fundamental right of the Government employees on par with the other section of the working class.
Grant Five promotions to all employees as is provided for in the case of Group-A services.
(a) Withdraw the PFRDA Bill. (b) Rescind the decision to allow FDI in pension sector;(c) Scrap the new contributory pension scheme (d) Extend the existing statutory defined pension scheme to all Central Govt. employees irrespective of their date of entry in Government service.
Vacate all Trade Union victimisation, and more specifically in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department.