Like last year’s Bharat Bandh, this year too there will be a Bharat Bandh on Friday called by trade unions, though the government has coneded to their demand on minimum wage but kept SBI merger outside the purview of talks.[ALSO SEE: Friday Bharat Bandh: What to Expect in Country-wide Shut Down?]
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the hike in minimum wage for unskilled non-farm workers of the central government would be Rs 350 a day, from the current Rs 246. The bonus for 2014-15 and 2015-16 will be paid to central government employees based on revised norms and the Bonus Amendment Act will be implemented “strictly”, he said. It means an outgo of Rs. 1,920 crore per annum for the government.[SEE: Tomorrow Bandh: Schools, Colleges Closed as Buses, Autos to be Off Roads]
The charter of demands include a minimum wage of Rs.18,000 p.m. in the unorganised sector, protests against mass-scale privatisation of permanent and perennial works, onslaught on basic rights of the workers through the so-called labour law reforms and compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application and immediate rectification of the ILO conventions C-87 and C-98.
In his response, Jaitley said: “In the last one and a half years, the inter-ministerial committee had meeting with central trade unions. Trade unions placed various demands. Some were labour related and some economic policy issues related. The government has taken some decisions with regard to those on the basis of their recommendations.” Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal and Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya were also present at a press meet on the outcome.[ALSO SEE:
BMS Out of Strike But 9 Other Unions to Observe Bharat Bandh on Sept. 2
Friday Bharat Bandh: What to Expect in Country-wide Shut Down?
Here is a check list of what the trade unions demanded and what the government accepted so far:
— Minimum wage hike — Govt accepted the demand.
— For security benefit to the unorganised sector (like Anganwadi, mid-day meal, Asha volunteers) — Govt committee will examine and submit report at the “earliest”.
— SBI merger — Govt refuses opposition to the government’s plans to merge associate banks of SBI with the parent bank. Jaitley said “the merger is not subject of trade unions” and their service conditions are not being hurt adversely or affected at all.
–Bharat Bandh on Sept 2 to go — Since the discussions between the government and trade unions failed, it is likely that the 10 trade unions which had called for a Bharat Bandh on Friday, September 2, 2016 will go as planned to protest against the government’s labour reforms and “not paying heed to their demands”.
Union leaders said that the strike will affect the functioning of essential service like transport and supply of power, gas and oil. Many auto unions in cities of Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore have decided to keep off the roads on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016.
However, Schools and Colleges will remain open and there has been no official declaration of holiday. Many private institutions informed MF Monitor that they will operate school on Friday and their school vehicles will be plying.
The Indian National Trade Union Congress’s (INTUC) Odisha unit said it strongly supports the call of a Bharat Bandh onSeptember 2 given by the all central trade unions. INTUC State president Dr Rama Chandra Khuntia said in a statement on Sunday: “I on behalf of INTUC, Odisha Branch request all workers of the Central Government, corporations, industrial houses, factories, agriculture and those working in other sectors to join this strike on September 2 and make it a total success.”