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Tuesday 28 February 2012

Millions of workers of all political hues will go on strike across the country on Tuesday to express their anger at soaring prices and to back demands for improved rights for employees, trade unions and political activists said. Tuesday's strike will

Millions of workers of all political hues will go on strike across the country on Tuesday to express their anger at soaring prices and to back demands for improved rights for employees, trade unions and political activists said. Tuesday's strike will be the 14th general strike since India opened up its economy with major reforms in 1991. But Economic Ethnic Clansing Continue Unabated. No Resistance could be Mobilised at all. The rituals have to be performes yet again!

Eleven central trade unions, including INTUC, BMS, CITU, AITUC, UTUC, AIUTUC, HMS, TUCI and NLO, will participate in the Feb 28 general shut-down, demanding steps for controlling the rise in prices of essential commodities and creation of more employment opportunities.

Hypocrite Mamata? Bengal CM appeals against strike!

Delhi govt invokes ESMA in view of Tuesday's strike!

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - Eight HUNDRED NINE

Palash Biswas

Eleven central trade unions, including INTUC, BMS, CITU, AITUC, UTUC, AIUTUC, HMS, TUCI and NLO, will participate in the Feb 28 general shut-down, demanding steps for controlling the rise in prices of essential commodities and creation of more employment opportunities.

Delhi govt invokes ESMA in view of Tuesday's strike!

In view of Tuesday's nation-wide strike called by a number of trade unions, Delhi government on Monday clamped the Essential Services Maintenance Act on all power companies in the city to ensure that there is no disruption in electricity supply in the national Capital.It said the ESMA would remain in force for next six months.

Millions of workers of all political hues will go on strike across the country on Tuesday to express their anger at soaring prices and to back demands for improved rights for employees, trade unions and political activists said. Tuesday's strike will be the 14th general strike since India opened up its economy with major reforms in 1991. But Economic Ethnic Clansing Continue Unabated. No Resistance could be Mobilised at all. The rituals have to be performes yet again!Key sectors of the Indian economy such as banking, insurance, telecom, transport, mining, postal and manufacturing could be badly hit on Tuesday owing to the nationwide 24-hour strike called by trade unions after the government's attempts to avert it remained unsuccessful on Monday.

Banking, insurance and industry are likely to be affected tomorrow with all major unions calling a countrywide strike to protest the "anti-labour" policies of the government, rising prices and disinvestment of PSUs.

Unions leaders who have rejected appeals to desist from the strike said all 11 major trade unions including Congress- affiliated INTUC, Shiv Sena-backed Bharatiya Kamgar Sena and UPA ally Indian Union Muslim League's trade-wing STU would join hands to make the strike a success.

"This a historic occasion as for the first time all the major trade unions irrespective of political affiliations are coming together to protest anti-labour polices of the government," AITUC general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said.

Dasgupta especially lauded INTUC president G Sanjeeva Reddy for being the "most consistent fighter in our joint struggle".

About 5,000 small unions have also decided to support the strike call, the union leaders said.

The government had last week appealed the trade unions to desist from going on strike with Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge saying they were ready to discuss any kind of labour-related issues.

Rejecting the appeal, Dasgupta said "We are not ready to consider such a ritualistic statement on the part of the government." He said the government had enough opportunity earlier to sit with the trade unions to discuss the issues.

The unions are demanding no contractorisation of work -- permanent or perennial nature, amendment of Minimum Wages Act, assured pension for all and compulsory registration of trade union among others.

In Kolkata Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is opposing the call for a strike given by Left trade unions on February 28 to protest the "Centre's anti-people policies".

She has made it mandatory for all government employees to attend work on Tuesday.Ahead of tomorrow's nationwide general strike called by 11 trade unions, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today warned of action, including break in service, in case state government employees failed to turn up for duty, as the CPI-M accused her government of "trying to break the strike by force".

Expressing her government's resolve to maintain normal life in the state tomorrow, Banerjee asked state employees to attend duty as usual tomorrow, and warned of action, including a break in service, as per rules in the event of absence, asking transport operators to ply vehicles to facilitate passenger movement.

"Steps have been taken to run trains, trams, buses. My government will also not allow any forcible closure of shops and offices. I appeal to the people not to respond to the strike," she told some TV channels here.

Trinamool Congress activists have been told to be out on streets to prevent any resistance from pro-bandh activists. State chief secretary Samar Ghosh has issued a circular informing government staff not to avail of leave.

Transport minister Madan Mitra has instructed employees of his department to work on the day of the bandh. Mitra has cautioned staff of pay-cut if they skip work. He has said that not attending work could mean discontinuity of service and it would be put on employee records, possibly affecting promotion.

The state has seen several bandhs during the 34-year rule of the Communist Party of India(Marxist).

Apologizing for calling strikes and shutdowns during her days as an opposition leader, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday appealed to the masses to foil the industrial strike called on Feb 28 and assured that the government would take stringent action against those who tried to implement the strike forcefully.

"We (Trinamool Congress) had earlier done the same mistake by calling for strikes and shutdowns. We later realized that a problem cannot be solved by calling a strike. In the last two years, we have not called a single strike," said Banerjee in an interview that was telecast on three Bengali news channels.

"We committed a mistake and have rectified it. We think the people have forgiven us for our mistake. I appeal to the masses of my state not to respond to this strike. A strike will rob daily labourers of their earnings," said Banerjee.

While assuring the masses that the government had taken necessary steps to keep trains, trams and buses running, Banerjee accused the Left parties of calling the strike in order to prove their political mettle.

"If any government staff takes part in the strike, then the government will take steps. All government employees should attend their respective offices. The former Left Front government used to help in making the strike a success. But we will not do it," said Banerjee.

The government has also issued circulars barring government employees from taking leave on the day of the strike.

The trade union are demanding an universal social security net for all unorganised sector workers through creation of a national social security fund, enforcement of basic labour laws and stringent punitive action against violation of labour laws.

Other demands in the charter of the trade unions demands amendment to the Minimum Wages Act, provision for pensions, abolition of contract-based appointments and for putting an end to the disinvestment process of profit-making public sector undertakings (PSUs).

Mulnivasi Trade Union is the URGENCY to Save Workers in organised as well as Unorganised Sctor Belonging to Excluding Communities ie Minorities, SC, ST and OBC! Since all Existing Tarde Unions are part and parcels of Brahaminical Political parties and guided with Brahaminical Political Leadership and Ideologies, they do NOT represent the Bahujan Mulnivasi workers at any level! More over, this Trade Union Movement led by Brahamins did deviate from its general agenda that is to defend the Constitutional Rights of the Working class and its Welfare! The Tarde Union Movement has Betrayed the Working Class as it is led by the Ruling Class and all set to defend the Class Interest of Market Dominating Brahaminical class in an EXCLUSIVE Economy based on EXCLUSION of the 95 percent NON Brahamin Non Aryan Majority Masses and Ethnic Cleansing of Eighty Five Percent Population consisting of Mulnivasi Bahujan. That is why, the Trade unions led by Mostly Marxist Barahmins NEVER did Oppose Capitalism, Imperialism, Corporate Imperialism, Neo Libaral Policies, Economic Reforms, Disnvestment and Divestment, Privatisation and Free Market Economy! The Token Opposition lodged by the Trade Unions NEVER did mean any Resistance whatsoever but it Helped the LPG Mafia to Implement Manusmriti Rule Postmodern as Trade Union Movement devoid of IDEOLOGY and focused on Financial Benefit proved to be rather Complete Mind Control! The Rights of the Working Class and Labour Laws ensured by DR BR Ambedkar who NOT only Framed thes laws but only Ensured TRADE Union Rights!Since Post Ambedkarite Movement did NEGLECT AMBEDKARITE Economics and his Legacy of Trade Union Movement, the Brahamins did SUCCEED to Hijack the Trade Union Movement to mislead it!They used it as CORPORATE LOBBYING and RESOURCE Generating Machine to Monopolise Power Politics!Hence, the Production system is Devastated and It is FDI Raj all over! Hence Job security and Working Conditions have become Shattered Dreams for us. Privatisation has maded Reservation and quota IRRELEVANT! The Tarde unions in fact worked as STIMULUS for Lock OUTS and Privatisation! As it happened in Bengal. Fifty six thousand Production Units have been LOCKED out despite so called Super ACTIVE Trade Union Activities!

The strike, which will include workers from state-run phone companies, bus drivers and postal workers, is a new headache for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government as it grapples with weakening economic growth and faces elections in several states.

This is perhaps for the first time in recent memory that trade unions affiliated to most of the mainstream political parties have come together to voice their protest against price rise, violation of labour rights and the government's free market policies like disinvestment in public sector companies and privatisation of services that could lead to job loss.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier appealed to all the major trade unions and 5,000 unaffiliated unions to call off the strike. But the unions rejected the appeal as it came only 48 hours before one of the largest strike calls in the history of independent India.

Major sectors like banking, transport, postal and port operations are likely to take a massive hit due to the strike. Key industries such as steel and power may see a low turnout at factories.

The country's largest lender, the State Bank of India, has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) that its operations would be affected due to the strike.

In the transport sector, national carrier Air India said that its operations would not be affected due to the strike, as its unions have not given any notice to the management.

The Indian Railways have said its operations will be normal. But it is widely expected that rail tracks may be blocked affecting services. Also road traffic on national, state highways could be hit as various unions are known to target these.

States like Kerala, Tripura and West Bengal, where the Communist parties have a greater hold, are likely to be affected the most.

It seems political considerations have prevailed over a section of the unions on their earlier decision to go on strike. For example, the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) said it would not be participating in the strike.

"The strike is politically motivated and illegal. We will oppose it tomorrow," Ashok Choudhary, the newly elected national president of INTUC, said. The INTUC is backed by the Congress party.

Unions linked to other coalition partners of the United Progressive Alliance government, including the one affiliated to Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress -- Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress, will also not be participating.

Others, who oppose the country-wide strike call are the ones affiliated to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK).

The government has been asking the unions to desist from going for the industrial action by trying to reach out to them through open advertisements issued by the labour ministry in leading national dailies.

"Most of the issues relating to labour raised by the central trade unions have already been addressed to a substantial extent. However, I do assure all of them that I am always open to discussion on any of the issues relating to labour at any time and resolve the same amicably through consultations," union Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said in an open appeal published in leading national dailies.  

Union Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge has appealed to the major central trade unions not to go on countrywide general strike tomorrow.

Kharge in his appeal said the trade unions have decided to go on general strike when the whole attention of the country is focused on achieving high economic growth.

"Most of the issues relating to labour raised by the trade unions have already been addressed to a substantial extent. However, I do assure all the central trade unions that i am always open to discussions on any of the issues relating to labour at anytime and resolve the same amicable through consultations," he said.

Kharge said there is no denying the fact that the proposed strike will not only cause colossal economic loss to the country but also bring hardship and inconvenience to the common man.

"In the interest of the country, I would fervently appeal to all the central trade unions to desist from going on strike on 28th February, 2012," he added.

Workers linked to the ruling Congress party will join the protest and have promised further action if their demands are not met.

The protests are not expected to significantly affect banks and financial markets in Asia's third-largest economy, but traders said there could be some volatility in the bond market if volumes are lower than normal.

"Volumes could be lower, but settlement should happen," said a senior dealer at a state-run bank.

The strikers have a long list of demands. Among them, they want the government to take measures to contain inflation, provide universal social security cover for workers in the vast unorganised labour sector, and to stop selling stakes in state-run companies.

"We will have to think about our future course of action if the government does not come forward with proposals on how it will react to our demands," G. Sanjeeva Reddy, president of the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the ruling party's trade union, told Reuters.

Singh had appealed to Reddy to call off the strike, but was ignored, according to a report in the Hindu newspaper on Monday.

Hit by high interest rates, stubborn inflation and a stuttering reform agenda, the economy is expected to grow by about 7 percent in the fiscal year ending March, compared with earlier expectations of about 9 percent growth.

Singh's government, which is also beset by multi-billion dollar corruption scandals, has faced a slew of protests since winning a second term in 2009, denting the Congress party's image as a defender of the poor.

The party is currently fighting five state elections, including one in Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state.

Alleging that the West Bengal government is taking repressive measures to foil the February 28 general strike, the Left Front today termed "obnoxious" the circular banning leave of government employees on that day.

"As the date of the strike is coming near, the state government is taking repressive measures," Left Front chairman Biman Bose told reporters here referring to the government circular.

"While we are witnessing a hyperactive role of the administration, the Trinamool Congress is issuing letters to force business establishments to be open," he said.

"It is obnoxious that employees cannot apply for leave. The government used to do this during the British rule," he said.

Claiming that in West Bengal such circular have never been issued by the previous government, he said, "We oppose this 'black' circular."

Bose clarified that the Left Front has not given any strike call but is supporting the 24-hour all-India general strike called by several central trade unions, including CITU, AITUC, INTUC and others.

"We appeal to the organisers of the strike not to fall in the trap and machinations of TMC to create disorder or violence on that day," he said.

Here, we do face a TREMENDIOUS Challenge to address the Basic Problem what kind of Trade Union Movement would Save the Working Class consisting of MULNIVASI BAHUJAN, Excluded Communities and NON Brahamins deprived of previlege as per as the Ruling Brahamins! We need to look into the History of Indian Trade Union Movement, the Production system and Economy, AMBEDKARITE Legacy, Case Studies sectorwise and statewise! We have to analyse why Trade Unions Faliled, Deviated! Even in some cases UNDERMINED the Mother Organisation as in the Case of Marxist and Communist parties.

An associate of Mahtma Jyotiba Phule Meghaji Lokhande led the First ever Trade Union Movement even before the Famous Shicago Strike for Eight Hours Working Hour ! first Ever Peasnt Strike was led by Ayyankali in Kerala!Mind you, these two incidents were closely related with the Basic struggle of Liberation of Untouchables in India! Babasaheb Dr  BR Ambedkar has earmarked the First Ideological Principle for Mulnivasi Bahujan Trade Union as he said that the Trade Union had to Fight against the Brahaminical Hegemony Fist and then against Capitalism! Ironically, trade union Movement as well as Anti Capitalism Resistance were Hijacked by the Brahamins and the Fight against both Capitalism and Brahaminical Hegemony DIVERTED in single Motto of Benefit. Even Stalin used to say that the demand of bonus is a bourgeogie demand! The Working Class must fight to caprture the State Power! We must keep in mind this Ideological Destination in every condition!

West Bengal Chief Minister MamataBanerjee admitted that resorting tobandhs during her days as opposition leader in the state was a "mistake", as she appealed to people to stay away from tomorrow's industrial strike.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also came down heavily on the "politics of bandhs".

Stepping up the offensive to foil an industrial strike called on Feb 28, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday first urged and then warned unorganised sector workers not to join the general shut-down.

"Do not allow the strike. Keep the state running, keep your families running. Do not fall into traps or provocations," Banerjee said while addressing unorganised sector workers.

She appealed to the workers from the transport sector not to join the strike. "Do not indulge yourself in the strike. You are the most vital part of the economy. If you operate, the economy runs, the state progresses."

The urging subsequently turned into warnings as she asked state Labour Minister Purnendu Bose to ensure that workers reported for work on the day.

"Promote only those who are working and not those who don't. I will take appropriate steps to ensure there is no CPI-M (Communist Party of India -Marxist) affiliated partycracy among the workers," said Banerjee, turning to Bose.

Earlier, Transport Minister Madan Mitra warned his department employees of stern action if they participated in the strike.

"Those who don't come that day could face discontinuation of service. That has been said clearly and the government will decide on the reasons for leave. Leave cut and salary cut is there. They may even lose seniority," Mitra said Friday after a meeting with the chairmen and managing directors of five state-owned transport corporations.

The government has also issued a circular barring government employees from taking leave on that day.

"We had also made mistakes by resorting to bandhs sometimes when we were in the opposition but later realised it is useless. We have corrected our mistakes. We think people have forgiven us for correcting ourselves for calling bandhs which were also done rarely," she told TV channels on the eve of the 24-hour strike called by central industrial trade unions.

"If anyone admits a mistake after commiting it, people forgive him or her," she added.

Reacting to the opposition to strikes by the leader of Congress's key ally Trinamool, Congress said it is "good news".
"It is good news if TMC is opposing the strike. I am sure she has her own reasons to do so. We appreciate her stand," Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said in Delhi.

Banerjee said strikes had a negative impact on the state's economy "and it is widely felt everywhere".
"Strikes give rise to violence and destruction," she said, vowing to ensure law and order and peace tomorrow.

"Strikes and bandhs are expressions of frustration and it serves only vested interests," she added.
Banerjee said her government would no longer allow any bandh politics in the state which witnessed state-sponsored shutdowns in the past.

Lashing out at the CPI(M) and Left parties for choosing the "politics of bandhs", Mamata said, "They have taken up the weapon of bandhs as a life-long method in the last 35 years."

The chief minister asked government employees to attend duty as usual tomorrow, and warned of action, including a break in service as per rules in the event of absence, and asked transport operators to ply vehicles to facilitate passenger movement.

As many as seven employees' unions of banks have given a call for strike on Tuesday, demanding stringent measures to recover bad loans and opposing outsourcing of non-core activities to the private sector, reports PTI.

"Seven bank unions of nine have given strike call for stringent and effective measures to recover bad loans of banks and unilateral imposition of Khandelwal Committee recommendations," All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) general secretary CH Venkatachalam told PTI.

Besides, the unions are opposing banking sector reforms and outsourcing of jobs, he said, claiming that about 8,00,000 employees and officers affiliated with these unions will participate in the strike.
There are about 87,000 branches of public sector banks across the country. The state-owned lenders control about 75% of banking business.
Meanwhile, many banks including, SBI, Corporation Bank, State Bank of Mysore have said that if the proposed strike materialises, normal services may have to be curtailed.

The Centre-appointed Khandelwal panel had suggested a slew of measures, including outsourcing more and more non-core activities in a time-bound manner.

The panel had also recommended raising the standard of recruitment, including the methodology and content for tests, besides making the testing of computer skills mandatory for both officers and clerks.

The Khandelwal Committee on human resources (HR) had also suggested that the minimum qualification for clerks and sub-staff should be graduation and class 10, respectively.

In a statement, Mr Venkatachalam said, "The government is insensitive to the problems of the workers and no steps are being taken to address issues, like exploitation of workers, disinvestment and privatation. About 15 unions of bank employees and eight unions from insurance sector will participate in the strike."

In the Banking Sector, the following Unions have given the call for strike.

1. All India Bank Employees Association - AIBEA
2. National Confederation of Bank Employees - NCBE
3. All India Bank Officers Association - AIBOA
4. Bank Employees Federation of India - BEFI
5. Indian National Bank Employees Federation - INBEF
6. National Organisation of Bank Workers - NOBW
7. National Organisation of Bank Officers - NOBO
8. Bank Karamchari Sena Mahasangh - BKSM
9. All India Reserve Employees Association - AIRBEA
10. All India Reserve Bank Workers Federation - AIRBWF
11. All India Co-op. Bank Employees Federation - AICBEF
12. All India NABARD Employees Association - AINBEA
13. All India Regional Rural Bank Employees Association - AIRRBEA
14. All India Gramin Bank Employees Association - AIGBEA
15. All India Gramin Bank Officers Association - AIGBOA
In the Insurance Sector the following unions have given the call for Strike:
1. All India Insurance Employees Association - AIIEA
2. General Insurance Employees All India Association - GIEAIA
3. All India LIC Employees Federation - AILICEF
4. General Insurance Employees Association - South Zone - GIEA(AIIEA)
5. National Organisation of Insurance Workers -NOIW
6. National Federation of Insurance Field Workers of India - NFIFWI
7. All India National Life Insurance Federation - ALNLIF
8. Bharatiya Vima Kamgar Sena - BVKS

Against the Rule of Capital; For the General Strike

The industrial strike initially called for 28 February is all set to become a general strike. For the last two years, the UPA government has virtually refused even to negotiate with workers and their unions over any issue. Meanwhile, working class militancy has been picking up after a long period. In India, only about seven per cent of the working class is organised. Demands for union recognition have been at the heart of a number of struggles, especially in certain sectors such as the growing automobile sector. Bank employees, coal miners, forest workers (unorganised till recently, and not recognised as part of the working class by the government) and a variety of others have entered the lists with their own demands.
For a long time, India has been trumpeting about high growth rates. Contrary to all claims, however, there has been no trickle-down effect. The bulk of the labour force remains badly paid, without health care, without education, without even the minimum daily wage promised by the government. Meanwhile, over the last few years, the numbers of millionaires and billionaires has been steadily rising.
Among the general demands, common to all, there is the demand that the proposed Pension Bill must be withdrawn. In the name of "regulating" Pension funds, the bill is a move to make pensions dependent on volatile market driven financial instruments. This will in fact benefit financial sectors at the cost of workers.
Peasant associations have joined in, demanding that the government must buy from them at a minimum base price, instead of forcing them to sell at a loss to profiteers.
It is estimated that as many as 100 million workers might take part in the general strike. The ruling class is not taking it easy. In West Bengal, where the CITU, the CPI(M) dominated union, is strong, the Trinamul Congress government has announced that no government employee will be given leave for any reason on 28 February. In other words, taking part in the strike can be met with docking a day's pay, or even causing a break in service and losing seniority. The TMC has also announced that it will counter the strike actively. What this means concretely was shown yesterday, 22 February, when a CPI(M) rally was attacked by TMC thugs, and two CPI(M) leaders murdered. One had old charges. This was used by the Chief Minister to claim that internal conflict within CPI(M) had led to the death. But all accounts agree that it was a TMC force that organised the attack, and literally smashed the man to death.
A government that is unwilling to discuss minimum rights and dues with workers is willing to discuss the financial problems of Kingfisher airlines. The priorities are clear. Only united and repeated stacks by the workers can make the government yield ground.
The New trade Union Initiative, in its Calcutta General Council meeting of January 2012, adopted a resolution supporting the strike which said in part:
NTUI has consistently demanded equal wage for equal work, strict implementation of the eight hour work day and universal social security in order to articulate comprehensively the interests of working people as a whole.
The NTUI welcomes the inclusion of demands of equal pay for equal work for contract workers and will continue to strive for the inclusion of the demands of all sectors of the working class, while also supporting the 10 demands formulated by the Central trade unions in their call and agitation for the strike.
Support the strike
Oppose the Pension Bill
Fight for equal wages for equal work
Fight for implementation of the eight hour day
Build democratic, multi-tendency trade unions and organise the unoriganised asthe best route to opposing the exploitation by capital

Government, trade unions lock horns

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Labour bodies call lockout against the 'anti-labour policies' of the Centre
The United Progressive Alliance-II government and the 11 recognised Central trade unions have locked horns even as preparations are in full swing for the "general strike" called on Tuesday by the labour bodies against the "liberal and economic policies and other anti-labour policies" of the Central government.
There are about 40 crore workers/employees in the country of whom three crore work in the organised sectors and 37 crore in the unorganised sectors.
Work and services of Central/State governments departments and their public sector undertakings, transport (except railway and airlines), telecom, post and telegraph, defence production, banks, insurance, port and docks and private sector will be affected as the members affiliated to various trade unions are expected to join the strike, according to All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) general secretary Gurudas Das Gupta.
Meanwhile, Union Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge has appealed to the trade unions not to go on strike.
In a statement, he said the trade unions had called the strike when the country was focused on achieving high economic growth. Most of the issues relating to labour raised by the unions had already been addressed to a substantial extent. "However, I do assure all the Central trade unions that I am always open to discussions on any of the issues relating to labour at anytime and resolve the same amicably through consultations," he said.
There was no denying the fact that the proposed strike would not only cause colossal economic loss to the country but also bring hardship and inconvenience to the common man, Mr. Kharge said.
However, Mr. Gupta, who is firm on the strike plan, said the unions were not against the foreign direct investment in the private sector and their making profit. "We want the rights of the workers to be protected and they should get a fair deal for the work they are doing. The government should protect the working class."
The labour unions also seek a check on the "soaring prices" of the essential commodities, measures to protect employment and strict enforcement of the labour laws. The agitation will also take up the cause of those in the unorganised sector, and seek the enforcement of the Minimum Wages Act, removal of ceiling on bonus and pension and assured pension to all classes of employees.
Besides, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the trade union wing of the Congress, other major central trade unions such as the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, the AITUC, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the Hind Mazdoor Sabha and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's Labour Progressive Front and unions affiliated to the Shiv Sena and the Muslim League are joining the stir.
Keywords: Labour bodies, UPA Government, trade unions, anti-labour policies, INTUC, AITUC

Mercury rising over Feb 28 strike in WB

SATURDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2012 00:00
The hardening of stance from both sides - over joining of the February 28 general strike by the Government employees and workers of the Government-run transport companies - seemed to be leading towards a serious showdown between the trade unions and the Bengal Government.
This after a directive issued by the Government asking the employees to report for work on the given date or face punitive measures that could even go up to termination of service.
State Transport Minister Madan Mitra on Friday said that the Government would run 1,000 buses on road and the transport workers had been asked to join duty on that day "or else they could even face breakage in service and loss of seniority" leading the trade union leaders from INTUC to the Citu to revolt in unison.
"Let the Government take action but the workers will not join work on that day," said Shyamal Chakrabarty, adding the trade unions would opt for legal actions if the Government took "any undemocratic steps. They are trying to gag the voice of democracy."
Thousands of Government workers from 11 trade unions including INTUC and Citu had jointly took put a procession on Thursday supporting the strike.
Even as the Government and the Opposition went full throttle to press for their cause INTUC leader and State Minister Subroto Mukherjee quoted Calcutta High Court's order calling strikes unconstitutional saying "the strike is illegal and those who do not call would face discontinuation in the service."
State Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh had earlier issued a directive asking all concerned to remain present in office on the said date leading the Government employees to join cause irrespective of their colours.

Strike likely to cripple normal life in Kerala

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The 24-hour nationwide strike called by central trade unions from midnight tonight is likely to cripple normal life in Kerala with the State Government and banking unions also pledging support to it.
According to leaders of various unions, workers in all sectors except those in essential services such as health, water supply and media, would join the strike, called jointly by the central trade unions to protest the "anti-labour" policies of the UPA Government.
"The strike is going to be a historic event. This is rare since all major unions are joining hands for a nationwide protest," union leaders said.
They held that labour upsurges in different parts of the world in the backdrop of the crisis of capitalist economies had given an added thrust to the strike call.
The key demands of the unions include guarantee of labour rights, an end to the contract labour system, bringing workers in the unorganised sector under the social security net and pension benefit for all workers.
Besides the Left, unions such as CITU and AITUC and HMS, the pro-Congress INTUC and pro-BJP BMS are also supporting the strike.

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