100,000,000 workers grind India to a halt in one of world’s biggest strikes ever

From Lib.com:  http://libcom.org/news/100000000-workers-grind-india-halt-worlds-biggest-ever-strike-28022012

by Ramona
Feb 28 2012

One of the world’s largest ever strikes began at midnight on Monday 27th Feb and will end at midnight tonight. Up to 100,000,000 Indian workers from different sectors and industries are calling for a national minimum wage, permanent jobs, and much more.

As reported by libcom blogger working class self organisation in January:

Quote:

Over a dozen of India’s largest trade unions have called for and signed up to the strike. The strike will affect many sectors, including public sector banks, ports and docks, railways, insurance, road transport, energy workers, miners, and aviation workers.“Recent months have seen a mounting wave of militant worker struggles in India, strikes for union recognition in India’s expanding auto sector, including a two-day occupation of a Hyundai plant, a wildcat strike by Air India personnel, and walkouts by telecom workers and coal miners against the central government’s privatization plans.”

The different unions have a variety of different demands, they include gaining the same rights and protection for temporary and contract workers that permanent workers have, raising and extending the minimum wage, resisting the attacks on trade unions, stopping price rises, the creation of a national social security fund, increase in pensions, and combating corruption.

The workers are demanding a national minimum wage, permanent jobs for contract labourers, social security for informal labourers, pensions for all workers, intervention by the government to stop the rising costs of living, and to end the sell off of publicly owned companies amongst other demands.

Transport, postal services and banking have all been hit by the strike which involves around a dozen unions, with a ‘complete shutdown’ of banking in Mumbai being reported. Police have been deployed to try to prevent ‘unlawful’ picketing, with 100 arrests made this morning for obstructing traffic.

From IBN India:  http://ibnlive.in.com/news/strike-across-india-banking-transport-hit/234385-3.html

Trade unions strike: Banking, transport hit across India

Feb 28, 2012
New Delhi: Life has come to a standstill in parts of India due to the 24-hour nationwide strike by trade unions and government employees on Tuesday. In all, 11 trade unions across party lines along with 8 lakh public sector employees with the exception of those in the Railways are participating. Banking, transport and government services have been hit across the country including major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

The main grudges of the unions on strike include rising prices, disinvestment of profit-making PSUs and the violation of labour laws.

So far, West Bengal seemed to be the worst hit with four flights cancelled and blockades put up at the Asansol Railway Station. Some local trains remained stranded and there were also reports of one bus being destroyed at Salt Lake in Kolkata.

This came even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed her ministers to ensure that no Govt employees take part in the bandh which she says is Left sponsored. She has warned of consequences if her orders are violated.

Kerala too, was bearing the brunt of the nationwide strike. The roads of the capital Thiruvananthapuram wore a deserted look as buses and autos were not running.

Continue reading at:  http://ibnlive.in.com/news/strike-across-india-banking-transport-hit/234385-3.html

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