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Monday, February 18, 2013

2-day nationwide bandh on February 20 & 21

The trade unions in banking, insurance, public sector undertakings, transporters and unorganised sectors have called for a two-day nationwide strike on Wednesday and Thursday. They would be protesting against government’s alleged inaction on price rise, privatisation, outsourcing, violation of labour laws and various other issues.
Over 100 million workers will participate in the bandh. A joint rally of all the trade unions would be held at Azad Maidan in Mumbai and a morcha would be taken out to the Parliament which would culminate in a public rally in New Delhi.
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) national vice-president Uday Patwardhan, state unit president Prabhakar Banasure and state secretary Chandrakant Dhumal informed mediapersons that the delegation of BMS has already requested Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to look into the matter.
Patwardhan said that the Prime Minister is well aware of these issues and he should intervene so that the BMS demands are met with. He said the Union labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge had called on Singh to air their views but in vain.
Patwardhan said that since the Prime Minister has kept mum on these issues, the BMS and other trade unions had no option but to give a call for nationwide bandh.
Apart from BMS, the 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) and other such organisations would participate in the strike. According to Patwardhan, some of the demands of the trade unions include bringing back black money stashed in foreign countries, putting an end to SEZs, implementation of labour laws, filling up vacant posts in government jobs and withdrawal of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector.
The trade unions are demanding pensions for all along with removal of ceiling on bonus and provident fund. They claimed that federations of road transport, port and dock, petroleum, coal, steel and building and construction will participate in the strike.
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