NEW DELHI: Central trade unions have called for a nationwide general strike on November 26. As many as 25 crore workers are expected to participate in the strike. A statement was issued by a joint forum comprising ten central trade unions– Indian National 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), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC), Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC). The platform also consists of independent federations and associations.
“Preparations are in full swing for 26th November all-India strike. We expect more than 25 crore workers to take part in the strike this time,” the joint forum said.
Meanwhile, BJP aligned Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) In a statement issued on Tuesday, said, “It is clarified that BMS and its units will not participate this politically motivated strike on 26th November 2020.”
The demands of the strike include cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for all non-income tax paying families and 10 kg free ration per person per month to all needy.
The unions also demanded for expansion of MGNREGA (rural employment guarantee scheme) to provide 200 days’ work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages and also extension of the employment guarantee to urban areas.
They have asked the government to withdraw all “anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes and stop privatisation of public sector including the financial sector and stop corporatisation of government-run manufacturing and service entities like railways, ordinance factories, ports etc.”
They also stressed in their demand to withdraw the “draconian circular on forced premature retirement of government and PSU employees”.
The unions have also put forth other demands that include ‘pension to all’, scrapping NPS (National Pension System) and restoration of earlier pension with improvement in EPS-95 (Employees’ Pension Scheme-1995 run by retirement fund body EPFO)