Bharat Bandh on 8 Jan; 25 Crore to Protest ‘Anti-People Policies’

Ten central trade unions said around 25 crore people will participate in a strike on 8 January.

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Banking, transport and other services across the country are likely to be hit as trade unions have called a nationwide strike on Wednesday, 8 January, against the government’s “anti-people” policies, PTI reported.

Nearly 25 crore people are said to be taking part in this all-India strike.

Ten central trade unions like INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC along with various sectoral independent federations and associations had adopted a declaration in September to go on a nationwide strike on 8 January 2020.

“We expect participation of not less than 25 crore of working people in the forthcoming National General Strike on 8 January 2020, to be followed by many more actions seeking reversal of the anti-worker, anti-people, anti-national policies of the Government. The Ministry of Labour has failed to assure on any of the demands of workers which called a meeting on 2 January 2020. The attitude of the government is that of contempt towards labour as we construe from its policies and actions,” the central trade unions (CTUs) said in a joint statement.

The central trade unions are protesting against labour reforms, FDI, disinvestment, corporatisation and privatisation policies and to press for a 12-point common demands of the working class relating to minimum wage and social security, among others.

Banking, Transport Services Likely to Be Hit

Several banks have already informed stock exchanges about the Wednesday strike and its impact on banking services.

Various bank employee associations, including AIBEA, All India Bank Officers' Association (AIBOA), BEFI, INBEF, INBOC and Bank Karmachari Sena Mahasangh (BKSM), have expressed their willingness to participate in the strike, according to PTI.

Banking services like deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearing and instrument issuance are expected to be impacted due to the strike.

However, services at private sector banks are unlikely to be impacted.

Other than banking, transport and other key services are also likely to be disrupted in many states due to this nationwide strike call.

About 60 organisations of students and elected office bearers of some universities have also decided to join the strike with an agenda to raise voice against increased fee structure and commercialisation of education.

The trade unions condemned the JNU violence and similar incidents in other university campuses and expressed their solidarity with students and teachers all over India.

‘Employees Going on Strike Will Face Consequences’: Govt

The central government, meanwhile, has asked public sector undertakings to dissuade their employees from participating in the 'Bharat Bandh' called on Wednesday and advised them to prepare a contingency plan to ensure smooth functioning of the enterprises, PTI reported.

“Any employee going on strike in any form, including protest, would face the consequences which, besides deduction of wages, may also include appropriate disciplinary action,” said an office memorandum issued by the government.

"Suitable contingency plan may also be worked out to carry out the various functions of the ministry/department," it added.

It also issued instructions not to sanction casual leave or other kind of leave to employees if applied for during the period of the proposed protest or strike and ensure that the willing employees are allowed hindrance-free entry into the office premises.

‘Tight Security in Place’: Karnataka Education Minister

As ten trade unions and some associations geared up for a nationwide stir, a Karnataka minister said tight security will be in place to prevent a forced shutdown, according to PTI.

“Schools and colleges will remain open on Wednesday. There will be elaborate security arrangements to prevent those who would compel people for a forced shutdown,” Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said.

Trade union sources told PTI that a march of trade union members will be taken out from Town Hall to Freedom Park as part of the stir besides demonstrations would be staged at different parts of the city.

Autorickshaw, taxi unions and some factions in the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation have not backed the strike.

The bus services by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will likely run as usual on Wednesday, The News Minute reported.

Ola-Uber Drivers and Owners Association President Tanveer Pasha said taxi services of cab aggregators will operate as usual as well.

(With inputs from PTI and The News Minute.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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