KOCHI: The nationwide strike called jointly by all the major trade unions on September 2 is likely to bring the State to a standstill, with employees of all public and private sector establishments expressing solidarity with the strikers.
The union leaders who met here on Monday said the strike would be a ‘historic’ one, and that the International Labour Organisation and trade unions across the world had taken note of the preparations being made for it. Speaking after the meeting, CITU leader Elamaram Kareem, on behalf of the joint front of the trade unions, requested all sections of society to join the strike, which is scheduled to begin at midnight on September 1 and end by 12:00 am the next day.
“Workers of public and private sector establishments, shops, construction firms, ports, refineries, banks and transporters will join the strike. In Kochi, construction of the Metro Rail will also be affected,” Elamaram Kareem said.
“The Kerala Working Journalists Union has also expressed solidarity with the strike, but the members will not skip work. The State’s IT sector will also be affected,” said Kareem.
“Meanwhile, the Indian Railway employees, who fully supported the demands of the trade unions, will not be participating in the strike as they have called an indefinite strike in November,” said INTUC leader and joint trade union committee secretary R Chandrashekharan.
“Most of the demands and issues raised by the trade unions are broadly the same as those raised in the 48-hour national strike in February 2013, during the UPA regime. The only difference is that the current list of demands include a plea to the government to roll back the amendments to various labour laws,” said Chandrashekharan.
“The trade unions are deeply worried that the anti-worker policies remain the same, even after the government changed,” Chandrashekharan added.
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh state president V Radhakrishnan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met leaders of all the central trade unions - a first such gesture by any Prime Minister in 15 years. But, the discussion did not translate into concrete decisions on the demands raised by the unions.