Trade unions, farmers bodies call for a strike on February 16

    The Hawk
    January17/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    A coalition of trade unions and farmers' bodies declares a nationwide strike and rural shutdown on February 16 to oppose the central government's perceived anti-worker, anti-farmer, and anti-national policies. The joint forum demands higher minimum support prices, a monthly minimum wage of Rs 26,000 for workers, the repeal of labor codes, and guaranteed employment as a fundamental right.

    A Protest By Joint Committee Trade Union

    New Delhi: A joint forum of trade unions and farmers bodies has given a call for a nationwide general strike and Grameen Bandh (rural close down) on February 16, to protest 'against the anti-worker, anti-farmer and anti-national policies' of the central government.

    The forum is pressing for their demands which include higher minimum (crop MSP) support price, minimum wage of Rs 26,000 per month for workers, repeal of four labour codes, repeal amendments made to IPC/CrPC, guaranteed employment as fundamental right etc.

    "We appeal to all the like-minded movements of students, youth, teachers, women, the social movements and those in the field of art, culture, literature to extend support to the joint campaigns and culminating actions of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKU) and the platform of Central Trade Unions, Federations/Associations on 16th February," a joint statement said.

    It further stated that SKM and CTUs/Federations/Associations call for a countrywide massive mobilisations at different levels along with the Industrial/Sectoral Strike and Grameen Bandh on February 16, 2024 "against the anti-worker, anti-farmer and anti-national policies of the central government."

    The sectoral movements and agitations are going on including strikes. We request them to synchronize their agitations with the February 16 nation-wide programme adopted unitedly by the SKM and CTUs, it stated.

    They are demanding MSP@C2+50 per cent for all crops with guaranteed procurement, dismissal of Ajay Mishra Teni and registration of case on him, Comprehensive loan waiver to small and middle farm households for freedom from indebtedness and minimum wage of Rs 26,000 per month for workers.

    The 'C2+50 per cent formula recommends setting the MSP for crops at least 50 per cent above the comprehensive cost of producing a crop (C2) to ensure fair income for farmers.

    They also demanded the repeal of 4 Labour Codes, repeal amendments made to IPC/CrPC, guaranteed employment as fundamental right, no privatisation of PSUs including railway, defence, electricity, coal, oil, steel, telecom, posts, transport, airports, port & dock, banks, insurance etc.

    Their other demands include no to privatisation of education and health, no contractualisation of jobs, scrapping of fixed-term employment, strengthening MGNREGS with 200 days work per person per year and Rs 600 as daily wage, restoring the old pension scheme, pension and social security to all in the formal and informal economy.

    They also demanded scrapping of Section 104 of newly introduced BNS, Welfare Boards for all categories of unorganised workers on the lines of construction Workers Welfare Board, Implement the LARR Act 2013 (Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013) among others.

    "We call upon the workers, farmers, agricultural workers, women, youth, students, teachers, advocates, civil society and all other sections of the people to join this massive peoples’ action to resist and defeat the anti-people, anti-national authoritarian policy-regime," it stated.

    The CTUs, Federations/Associations support the call already given by the SKM for a Tractor/Vehicle Parade at the district headquarters on January 26, 2024.

    The workers and farmers are jointly carrying on Jana Jagaran Campaign of house-to-house visits from January 10-20, 2024 in all the villages across India to distribute leaflets, demand charter and ensure massive participation in the struggles.

    All these jan-sampark (mass contact) actions will lead for nationwide mobilisation against the anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-national policies being pursued with Corporate communal nexus, it stated.