National Alliance of People’s Movements stand in solidarity with the nationwide general strike call by Central Trades Unions


New Delhi | September 1, 2016: National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the nationwide general strike call for 2nd September ’16, given by various Trades Unions across the country. It is heartening to note that all Central Unions – barring the Sangh Parivar affiliated Unions that do not know where they stand – have come together for united action. The Trades Unions must also be commended for a pretty comprehensive charter of demands.

The charters of demands have encompassed various widespread issues that are arising since the introduction of new economic policy in 1991. They are to contain price rise by making public distribution system more efficient and banning speculative trade in commodity market, Generate employment through concrete measures, strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent measures to punish those who violate these rules, Universal social security covers for all workers including unorganised sector workers, Minimum wages of not less than Rs 18,000/- per month with provisions of indexation (for unskilled worker), Assured enhanced pension of not less than Rs. 3000 per month for the entire working population including unorganised workers, Stop disinvestment in Central/State PSUs, Against mass contractorisation of permanent and perennial work and, payment of the same wage and benefits for contract workers as that of regular workers for “the same and similar work”, Contract workers’ issues, End to draconian Pro-Employer Labour Law Amendments, No FDI in critical and nationally important sector such as Railways, Defence and other strategic sectors, Withdrawal of the undemocratic Land Acquisition amendment bill etc.

And finally the most important part – no unilateral amendment to labour laws.

We would like to also congratulate the collective action of the Trades Unions as an otherwise deaf and insensitive Government that believes in riding rough shod over people’s struggles and their rights, a ruling dispensation that is ‘in the pockets’ of Adanis, Ambanis and their ilk has had to sit up and take notice of the Unions’ demands. People are seeing through the Government’s strategy of new slogans every few days as far as people at large are concerned – whether it is achche din, swach Bharat, or Make in India, they are mere slogans and nothing more. The Government stands completely exposed in that its performance and delivery are dedicated only to the corporates like Adanis, Ambanis, Jindals and Mittals.

Study after study has shown that 25 years of new economic policies of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation have either meant ‘jobless’ growth or ‘job-loss’ growth, a rising disparity and violence against Dalits, Adivasis, Minorities and other marginalised sections of society that any civilised society would be ashamed of.

Every Government can possibly be represented by one shamefully striking image or character. Mrs. Indira Gandhi‘s regime could be characterised by Emergency, Rajiv Gandhi’s rule by Bofors, Mr Narsimha Rao’s 5 years by Babri demolition, Mr Manmohan Singh‘s by 2G, Coal scam etc. Mr Modi’s Sangh-Parivar regime presents an embarrassingly rich catalogue of things it should be ashamed of – Mohammad Akhlaq, atrocities against Dalits, or Dana Manjhi having to carry his wife’s body for many kms., assaults on intellectuals, Universities, tampering with educational syllabi, diluting laws out of shape, trying to capture institutions etc.

A sense of history teaches us that the darker the times the stronger the resistance and all pro-people individuals, intellectuals, organisations and Trade Unions will together and resolutely fight the Sangh – Parivar – corporate nexus that is seeking to impose far-reaching changes on our social fabric and Constitutional set up.

Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara – Lok Shakti Abhiyan & Lingraj Azad– Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, NAPM, Odisha; Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti & Meera – Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM, MP; Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe – NAPM, Maharashtra; Gabriele Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan – Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN; C R Neelkandan – NAPM Kerala; P Chennaiah & Ramakrishnan Raju – NAPM Andhra Pradesh, Arundhati Dhuru, Richa Singh – NAPM, UP; Sister Celia – Domestic Workers Union & Rukmini V P, Garment Labour Union, NAPM, Karnataka; Vimal Bhai – Matu Jan sangathan & Jabar Singh, NAPM, Uttarakhand; Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant – Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat; Kamayani Swami, Ashish Ranjan – Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan & Mahendra Yadav – Kosi Navnirman Manch, NAPM Bihar; Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar, & J S Walia, NAPM Haryana; Kailash Meena, NAPM Rajasthan; Amitava Mitra & Avik Saha, NAPM West Bengal; B S Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini & Rajendra Ravi and, Madhuresh Kumar – NAPM, Delhi.