Unions mark “Quit India” anniversary, launch nationwide strike against anti-labour policies

In protest of the anti-worker clauses in the nation's labour rules, India's ten (10) central trade unions (CTUs) organised a nationwide mass strike on August 9. This is the latest protest organised by the unions, which have been pressuring the government to recognise their “12-point Charter of Demands” for quite some time now, which include among others, universal social security, enhanced pension, contractualization, and a halt to disinvestment in Central/State PSUs. The large protest coincided with India's observance of the Quit India Movement Day, a day to remember the sacrifices made by the Indian people in their fight for independence.

Rama Chandra Khuntia, President of the INBCWWF and Chair of the BWI Indian Affiliates' Council, stated that the unions' most recent protest action reaffirms their opposition to the government's anti-worker and anti-labor policies as well as its plans to intensify privatization, outsourcing, and contractualization schemes. "We will keep shouting and demanding immediate increases in wages, social security coverage, a halt to privatization, and the immediate regularization of workers across all industries. We appreciate the farmers' unions' and BWI affiliates' participation in the trade union actions that were held in conjunction with the nation's day of observance of the Indian people’s fight for independence.

It was reported that the CTUs held various protest actions all over the country. In New Delhi, a protest was organised at Jantar Mantar that was attended by CTU representatives and members. Elsewhere in the country, protests were led by CTUs, including BWI affiliates across different states. Some of the unions that participated are the KSCWCU, AIKTMS, TCTU and SGEU (Tamil Nadu State), BMS (Punjab State), BNKMU (Uttar Pradesh State), SEWA (Gujarat State), AHPWDIPHCWU and HBCMU (Himachal Pradesh State), AHBWU (Rajasthan State); NOBSM, ONMS, INBCWF, OFMFPWU and OKKS (Odisha State), CLU and HKMP (Bihar State), MBCFWC (Maharashtra State), DANMU (Delhi), and KKNTC (Kerala State).