Trade union leaders in India have announced that they will hold a joint strike on February 28, 2012.
All the Central Trade Unions (CTUs) are demanding better labour laws and effective government implementation of these laws to protect employees’ interests. This will be the first industry and nation-wide labor strike in India. Over 100 million workers in India will be participating in the strike.
This strike will affect virtually all major industries in India. Already on board are public sector banks, port and dock leaders, railways, insurance, road transport, and the energy industry. The different labor unions have specific demands that they want to achieve with the strike. These include bringing contract and permanent workers to the same level of employee protection and benefits, amending the Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage, removing ceilings on bonuses and provident funds, and amending the Trade Union Act to ensure registration of trade unions in a timely fashion.
The union leaders stated that this drastic measure was to put pressure on the government, which has been unresponsive to recent union concerns. Furthermore, the government has been curbing existing labour rights by making it more difficult to form unions, reducing social security and pensions, and not enforcing minimum wage requirements.