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Country to come to a standstill on Thursday as 25 cr workers to participate in nationwide strike


New Delhi: All prominent Central trade unions, other than BJP aligned Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), on Tuesday said that about 25 crore workers are expected to participate in the nationwide general strike on November 26, for which "preparations are in full swing".

A statement has been 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 joint platform also consists of independent federations/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, BMS has clarified that it will not participate in this strike.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the BMS said, "It is clarified that BMS and its units will not participate this politically motivated strike on 26th November 2020."

The representatives of the ten central trade unions expressed satisfaction about the preparations of nationwide general strike on November 26, 2020 in a joint press conference held here.

The Independent Sectoral Federations and Associations in the central and state government employees and in the public sector enterprises have served the strike notice in most of the places, similarly the industrial units in the private sector, big and small, also have submitted notices to this effect in most part of the country, the joint statement said.

The scheme workers, domestic workers, construction workers, beedi workers, hawkers, vendors, agricultural workers, self employed in rural and urban India have decided to come on streets for 'chakka jam', it said.

The auto and taxi drivers have also decided to keep off the roads in many states. The federations of railway and defense employees have decided for large mobilisation on the day to express their solidarity to this strike action and the demands of the unions, the statement said.

The united front of the Kisan organisations in India named as AIKSCC has extended its support to the general strike of workers and would be mobilising in rural India to express solidarity with the workers.

The trade unions have also extended their support to the call by AIKSCC, the umbrella organisation of Indian farmers, of 'Parliament Chalo' march of 26-27 November along with the mobilisation of workers all over India to stand with them against the farm laws.

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).

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TAGS:Strike INTUC BMS workers 
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