Workers begin nationwide 2-day strike across India for labour rights, better pay

Workers begin nationwide 2-day strike across India for labour rights, better pay

New Delhi (Web Desk): Millions of workers started a nationwide two-day strike across India on Monday (today) to express their anger at the government’s economic policies and to back demands for improved rights for industrial workers, employees and farmers.

All Indian Trade Union Congress said it was expecting more than 200 million formal and informal workers to join the strike. Demonstrations were planned in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other major cities.

The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh said it won’t be participating in the strike, calling it “politically motivated”.

The organisers of the strike want the government to provide universal social security cover for workers in the vast unorganised sector, hike the minimum wage under its flagship employment guarantee programme and stop the privatisation of public sector banks.

The strikers are also demanding the government halt its plans to monetise state assets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says privatising some state-owned banks would overhaul the banking industry and that the asset monetisation model will help raise money to spur economic growth.

Essential services related to banking, transportation, railways and electricity are likely to be impacted in several states due to the strike. A number of public sector banks, including India’s largest lender, the state-run State Bank of India, have said that banking services may be affected because many employees are expected to participate in the strike.