NEW DELHI: Labourers in unorgainsed sector today extended their support to one-day nationwide general strike called by central trade unions (CTUs) tomorrow in protest against changes in labour laws and also accused the NDA government of ignoring the rights of informal sector workers.
Several outfits, representing the unorganised labourers have united under the banner of "Working People's Charter" to push their demands, also appealed BJP-backed Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) to rethink on its decision to withdraw its support to the plenary strike at the eleventh hour.
The organisations also launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Centre's 'Make in India' initiative, claiming the programme insults the country's working force as its shows them as "cheap labour" in the eyes of the world.
"Modi's government doesn't accept our minimum wages demand for unorganised sector. They have snatched purchasing power of the sector. The unorganised sector forms 55 per cent of the nation's GDP, but it has been denied social security.
"Hence, we have decided to joint the CTUs. Since we are coming together, our strength too has increased. We will be more organised, unionised thus," Swami Agnivesh, social activist and chairman of Bandhua Mukti Morcha, told reporters.
Agnivesh urged BMS to not get influenced by political parties and keep unity of CTUs intact. Targeting Modi, Agnivesh said the Prime Minister was reaching out to world asking them to 'Make in India' with an assurance the nation will provide them with cheap labour, this he said, shows workers in poor light.
"He is showing India's labour as cheap work force. We condemn him for selling our labourers thus," he said.
The outfits further said they were expecting between three and four lakh people to take part in the strike which will be held in two ways: one on streets by trade unions and the informal sector workers at their levels by bunking work. The outfits reiterated their demands of ensuring minimum monthly wages of Rs 15,000 with a provision of indexation, at least Rs 3,000 pension for entire working class, social security for labourers, employment guarantee, right to housing, setting up vigilance committee in every district of the country, etc. Besides Agnivesh, convener of National Forum of Housing Rights, Indu Prakash Singh, member of Delhi Hawkers' Federation Dharmendra Kumar, vice president of New Trade Union Initiative Ashim Roy, Trade Union Coordination Committee member Anita Juneja, Trade Union Co-ordination Centre national secretary Ramendra Kumar also briefed the media.
Meanwhile, All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) also declared its support to the CTUs terming their stance as genuine and added BMS pulling out of the strike doesn't mean entire working class of the country agrees with Government's assurances on the labourers' demands. "If any government-sponsored organisation withdraws from the general strike doesn't mean that the working people of the entire country are convinced with the promises of Government and abandoning the general strike," AIFB said in a statement.