#BharatBandh: Nationwide strike against Modi govt's policies on Jan 8-9
Ten Central trade unions across India have called for a two-day-long nationwide strike on January 8 and 9 in a bid to protest against what they call "anti-people" policies of the Modi government. The strike will see participation from farmers across the country, from bank employees, from the National Federation of Atomic Energy Employees (NFAEE), and from the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU). Here's more.
The ten trade unions that have called for the strike are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC, TUCC, LPF, and SEWA. Notably, these trade unions have support of almost all major independent federations of Central government employees and state employees. They also have the support from a large section of employees from banks, insurance, telecom, and other service sectors, and represent both the organized and unorganized sectors.
Farmers under the aegis of the Left peasant wings will also be joining in on the strike, and will observe 'gramin hartal', 'rail roko', and 'road roko' across the nation as a mark of protest. Farmers organizations are joining in on the strike to protest against the Modi government's failure to address rural distress, and its failure to save farmers' lands from corporate entities.
Meanwhile, banking services are also set to be affected for the duration of the strike as a large section of PSU bank employees are slated to join the strike. The two bank unions that are participating in the strike are the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI), and they have communicated their decision to the Indian Banks' Association (IBA).
Meanwhile, the National Federation of Atomic Energy Employees (NFAEE) and its affiliated unions have also threatened to go on strike on January 8-9 against the government's 'anti-worker' policies. NFAEE is demanding a hike in minimum pay, filling up of vacancies, a stop to disinvestment in PSUs, a change in the fitment formula, removal of the 5% cap on compassionate appointments and grant appointments, etc.
Finally, the JNU Students' Union (JNUSU) will also support the strike to protest against the mis-utilization of public funds. JNUSU is incensed with the fact that Rs. 13 lakh was spent on hosting spiritual gurus Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhguru at the varsity, while funds for the university's library and merit-cum-means scholarships are being cut. It has alleged that the Modi government is trying to destroy public education.
"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 working class," said CITU General Secretary Tapan Sen.