Workers throughout the country responded to the Call for All India Industrial Strike in a splendid and brave fashion. At several faces they faced obstacles from the Admn. and threats from the owners and the management. Strike affected industrial activity in all the states. Workers took out big rallies and held demonstrations. Workers in Jute factories, tea gardens, textile, heavy engineering and small & medium industries and unorganized sectors responded to the strike call. Employees of banks also participated in the strike in large numbers and work in banks was affected in different parts of the state. The reports of the strike action and rallies are pouring in from across the country.
IFTU and several other revolutionary trade unions had supported the strike and called upon workers to strike work to demand :
- Repeal anti-worker labour laws like recently made IR Code, Wage Code, OSH Code.
- Repeal proposed 9 hours daily duty and 16 hours maximum overtime as in Wade Code and Wage rules.
- Repeal Fixed Term Employment.
- Implement “Equal Work for Equal Pay” for casual, contract and outsourced workers.
- Declare Rs. 21000/- pm as All India minimum wage. Declare uniform Minimum wage in entire NCR.
- Stop disinvesting of public sector enterprises.
- NO to CAA, NRC, NPR.
In Delhi in Okhla industrial area of Delhi, despite rain the worker’s rally marched under the banner of IFTU, IMS, AICCTU and NTUI. The rally covered the entire phase 2 closing the factories and Okhla phase 1 and ended in a mass meeting. Strike was approximately 70%. In Mayapuri industrial area rally led by IFTU and joined by CITU was held. Despite sustained attempts by Delhi Police to disperse, the march continued through phase 2 and phase 1 where it ended in a mass meeting. 80% of the factories were closed. At Safdarjung hospital a mass meeting was held of the regular and contract workers of Safdarjung Hospital (affiliated to IFTU) was joined by workers of DSOI.
In Punjab strike affected work in industrial areas and IFTU organized rallies at Gurdaspur and Nawanshahr in which large number of workers participated.
Rally was also organized by IFTU along with other Unions in Panipat (Haryana). Rallies were organized at other Centres as well in that state.
In West Bengal and Assam strike had a vast impact. Despite heavy police presence, jute and tea garden workers observed strike. It was total in jute factories and biscuit making units in West Bengal. Contract workers of CPWD held demonstration in Kolkata.
In Bihar IFTU organized rallies in Sasaram, Muzaffarpur and a demonstration in Kehalgaon NTPC in Bhagapur.
In AP IFTU participated in a joint rally at Vijayawada in which over 2500 workers participated. IFTU organized strike and rallies at other Centres as well. Rallies and meetings were held at 42 centres including in West Godavari, East Godavari, Vi shakhapatnam, Vijainagram, Srikakulam, Tirupati, Anantpur, Kurnool, Krishna and Ongole.
In Telengana, IFTU organized rallies at district centres and in industrial areas. Work was affected in several sectors. IFTU organized and participated in demonstrations and rasta rokos at about 100 places in the state.
In Tamilnadu, IFTU union organized protest at Krishnagiri and 172 activists were arrested who were released in the evening.
These reports are incomplete as more and more strike actions and demonstrations are being reported from across the country.
However, given the attacks on the working class, there is a need to mobilize and bring the workers into struggle on a sustained basis. Revolutionary Trade Unions should intensify their efforts in this direction. Workers have repeated demonstrated their willingness for struggle. The need is to prepare and launch a broad-based and determined struggle against attacks of the Govt.
Umbrella organization of peasants- AIKSCC- had given a call for All India Grameen Bandh to coincide with all India strike. AIKMS held protest meetings at several centres. Peasant organizations and activists participated in the demonstrations at different places. Reports of such programmes have been received from several centres in UP and Bihar and are awaited from other centres.
January 8, 2020