Despite the threat of the Essential Services Maintenance Act, road, transportation, and electricity workers have decided to join the strike.
A joint platform of central trade unions has called for a nationwide strike (Bharat bandh) on March 28 and 29 to protest a number of government policies affecting workers, farmers, and the common man (Monday and Tuesday). According to a statement, the Platform of Central Trade Unions and Sectoral Federations and Associations met recently in New Delhi to assess preparations in various states and sectors for the proposed two-day all-India strike against the central government’s “anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people, and anti-national policies.”
Despite the impending threat of the Essential Services Maintenance Act, roadways, transportation, and electricity workers have decided to join the strike, according to the statement (ESMA).
Why will They Raise a Fuss?
According to the joint forum, the BJP government at the Centre has intensified its attacks on the working class, lowering the interest rate on EPF accumulations to 8.1 percent from 8.5 percent, raising the price of petrol, LPG, kerosene, CNG, and taking steps to implement their monetisation programme (PSU land bundles) but being held back only by the worsening inflation and crashing stock markets.
According to the report, the meeting “condemned” these policies.
Who will Participate in The March 28-29 Strike?
Banking and insurance are among the financial sectors that have joined the strike. Unions in industries such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, banks, and insurance, among others, have issued strike notices, according to the statement.
It stated that unions in the railways and defence sectors would mass mobilise in support of the strike in hundreds of locations.
At the meeting, various state-level unions were urged to join the strike in protest of the central government’s anti-labor policies, with the four labour codes serving as an example.
INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, and UTUC are among the central trade unions represented in this joint forum.
The forum urged people from all walks of life to join the strike, which was organised under the slogan “Save People, Save Nation.”
Government Offices in Bengal will Remain Open
The government of West Bengal has already stated that all offices will be open on those days and that employees must report to work.
“In light of calls from various trade unions and others for a 48-hour nationwide strike/bandh on March 28 and 29, 2022,” reads a state government memorandum released on Saturday. “All state government offices, including those provided with Grants-in-Aid by the state government, shall remain open and all employees shall report for duty on those days,” reads another.
“It has been decided that no casual leave or other leave for absence will be granted to any employee on the above-mentioned dates, whether in the first half, second half, or for the entire day.” It is also stated that employees’ absences on those days will be treated as ‘dies-non,’ and no salary will be paid.
Ensure Normal Operation: Ministry of Power to States
The power ministry has written to all state governments and electricity authorities, requesting that they ensure that the electricity supply remains operational during the employees’ strike. Shutdown activities scheduled for these two days may be rescheduled to a more convenient time in the future, according to the ministry. To deal with any emergency situations, additional manpower may be deployed at all critical power stations.
The power ministry’s advisory stated that control room executives should be vigilant and on high alert, and that power supply to essential services such as hospitals, defence infrastructure, and railways should be ensured.