Bharat Bandh On September 2

Bharat Bandh tomorrow! Yes, we too were shocked to know this!

As many as 15 crore workers from the government and private sectors will go on strike tomorrow, i.e., September 2. Consequently, many government offices, banks, insurance companies, and factories will be closed tomorrow. Affected sectors also include defence, electricity, mining, insurance, and transport.

Daily commuters, let’s hope you are reading this one as you might face problems in using public transport services on September 2.

What’s interesting to know, however, is that train services won’t be affected. And it is because the employees of the Indian Railways have not yet announced whether they’ll be joining the stir by workers from different sectors or not. But one thing is sure that the strike is going to affect normal life.

It is known that more than a lakh of employees of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will participate in the strike. And the worry doesn’t end here; cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad will witness a similar situation. This is because the auto-rickshaw unions will keep off the roads on Friday.

So far no holiday has been declared in schools and colleges.

As many as 10 trade unions have given a call for “Bharat Bandh”. And that’s not all, nearly 5 lakh bank union officers and workers are expected to join the strike, which means no bank would be operational tomorrow. No conclusion has been drawn out of the negotiation that is ongoing between the trade unions and the government.

Moreover, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced to hike minimum wages for the non-agricultural workers, in an attempt to ensure that the strike is averted. But his effort went in vain as his proposal was rejected by the trade unions.

As per All India Trade Union Congress General Secretary, Gurudas Dasgupta, “The government’s minimum wage announcement is completely inadequate. The strike stands and we demand they should enact a law to fix minimum (universal) wage”.

If you don’t know already, please read the “12-point charter of demands” made by trade unions below:

  • Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of public distribution system and banning speculative trade in commodity market.
  • Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation.
  • 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 all workers.
  • Minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000/- per month with provisions of indexation.
  • Assured enhanced pension, not less than Rs.3,000/- p.m. for the entire working population.
  • Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs.
  • Stoppage of contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work.
  • Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund; increase the quantum of gratuity.
  • Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application; and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions, C 87 and C 98.
  • Stoppage of Pro Employer Labour Law Amendments, FDI in Railways, Insurance, and Defence.
  • In addition to these, the central trade unions are also demanding the withdrawal of the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill/Ordinance.