Like other parts of the country, the all-India general strike, called by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions , was also observed in the city today. The J&K joint platform of trade unions, comprising Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and insurance, banks, BSNL and Central government employees, protested against the alleged anti-people and anti-workers polices of the Union Government.
The 24-hour strike badly affected the functioning of Central government offices and banking operations as there was a thin presence of employees much to the inconvenience of general public. Employees of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), nationalised banks, old private sector banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks participated in the day-long strike.
General secretary of the CITU Om Parkash, while addressing a workers’ rally, expressed concern over the plight of working class claiming that they were adversely hit by neo-liberal economic policies pursued by the Central government. He added that such policies were affecting the workforce, especially working in the unorganised sector across the country, including J&K.
Om Parkash demanded that the services of daily wagers, contractual and need-based workers working in state government departments should be regularised immediately.
Another senior leader of CITU Sham Parsad Kesar said big corporate had invested heavily to ensure victory of the BJP in the last parliamentary elections and now it was time for the Modi government to pay them rich dividends on their investments.
Meanwhile, CITU pressed for a 12-point charter of demands, which included curb in price rise, universalising public distribution system, job protection, enforcement of labour laws, social security for workers working in the unorganised sector, stopping disinvestment in PSUs, minimum wages not less than Rs 15,000, pension for all, equal wages and benefits to contractual workers, ensuring the Right to Organisation and collective bargaining, etc.
President of INTUC Shiv Kumar Sharma, senior vice-president Balkar Singh and other leaders of trade unions also addressed the huge rally of workers.