NEW DELHI: Farmers across the country under the aegis of the Left peasant wings would join the two-day nationwide general strike on January 8 and 9 called by central trade unions against the alleged repressive policies for workers adopted by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.
"AIKS and Bhumi Adhikar Andolan will observe 'Gramin hartal', rail roko and road roko on January 8 and 9, the day trade unions are observing the nationwide general strike. This move is against the Modi government's failure to address rural distress issues, to save rural farmers' lands from the corporates. The farmers will extend all support to the ensuing general strike," said Hannan Mollah, general secretary of the CPI(M)-affiliated All India Kisan Sabha.
Atul Kumar Anjaan of the CPI's peasant wing said that the action committee of farmers in their meeting decided that when the workers, employees and common people are protesting against the Modi government's policies, the farmers will also join them.
"The farmers will join road jam, demonstration, protest meetings throughout the country to make the nationwide strike success and register their disenchantment with PM Narendra Modi and his policies," said Anjaan.
Anjaan said that the farmers' organisations who last year organised a massive march on November 29, 30 in front of Parliament were of the opinion that four-and-a-half years of the Modi government failed to fulfil promises made by the BJP.
Tapan Sen, general secretary of CITU, said that the public sector employees, unorganised sector workers, port and dock workers, bank and insurance employees are going to observe nationwide protest on January 8 and 9 against the growing economic crisis, price rise and acute unemployment on the call of central trade unions and mass organisations.
The CITU denounced the unilateral move of the government of India to amend the Trade Union Act 1926 in the name of bringing about "so-called transparency" and avoiding "duplicacy" as noted in the press briefing by the union cabinet.
Sen alleged that the proposed Trade Union (Amendment) Bill 2018 as cleared by the Cabinet is designed to impose conditions of slavery on the working people and totally abrogate trade union rights.
"It is not merely labour reform, it is an all-out degeneration in the life of productive people in the whole economy," Sen said. He alleged that under the regime of the Modi government a repressive atmosphere has been created for working class people.
"It is just not distress and destitution, there is an altogether a repressive atmosphere creating in the total uncertainty in the world of works," Sen alleged.
CITU was critical of the Modi government's policy of 'Make in India' and alleged that the government has been killing the work culture of the country's public sectors by favouring major contracts of manufacturing works to private players.
"In Rafale deal, there was no transfer of technology. State-owned HAL was kept away from the entire deal. This government will do similar practice when it will sign another two mega defence deals for F-16 fighter aircraft with Lockheed Martin Corporation of US and purchase of Naval frigates from Russia," said Sen.
He was also critical on the Modi government's move to purchase rail locomotive and coaches from foreign company. "Our movement is getting stronger every year. This is the 18th nationwide general strike against the government's anti-worker policies. The main aim of our 12-point charter of demands is to revive the country's economy, save the rights of the working class," Sen added.
Ten trade unions who have jointly called for the nationwide general strike are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC, TUCC, LPF and SEWA.
The trade unions have supports of almost all major independent federations of central employees, state employees and the employees of banks, insurance, telecom, and other service sectors representing the workers and employees of all the industries and services including transport services, both in organised and unorganised sectors.