for building a democratic labour movement in India
More than 100 million workers joined the strike
The biggest ever, the countrywide general strike on February 28, 2012, sponsored by eleven major Central Trade Unions (CTUs), namely, AITUC, CITU, INTUC, BMS, TUCC, UTUC, AICCTU, HMS, AIUTUC, LPF and SEWA and independent federations supported by more than 5,000 smaller unions across the country was a grand success. Key sectors of the Indian economy such as banking, insurance, telecom, transport, mining, postal and manufacturing was massively joined the strike.
The unprecedented unity shown by trade unions evoked massive response from the workers. As per initial estimates, more than 100 million workers all over the country – from Jammu & Kashmir in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, from Assam in the east to Gujarat in the west participated in the strike opposing the anti worker and anti people policies of the government. This General Strike, the fourteenth after the advent of the neoliberal economic policies in our country is significant because of the unprecedented unity of all the central trade unions and the demands raised by them that reflected the concerns not only of the workers but also of all sections of the toiling people. Besides, joint campaigns at the state and lower levels were also conducted this time on a wider scale. The joint campaign undertaken by the central leadership of the trade unions inspired many independent and state level trade unions to join the strike.
• Concrete measures to curb price rise and provide some relief to the people
• Effective implementation of all labour laws and stringent punishment to those who flout them
• Universal social security for all unorganised workers by creating a National Social Security Fund with adequate financial allocations
• Stopping contractual labour in permanent jobs and equal wages and benefits to the contract workers as the permanent workers of the establishment
• Universal coverage by minimum wages Act and statutory minimum wage of not less than Rs 10000
• Pension for all, removal of all ceiling on eligibility for bonus, provident fund etc
• Compulsory registration of the trade unions within a time frame of 45 days.
Trade Unions Warned for further protests
The combine of 11 central trade unions, which called a nationwide general strike has warned the central government of more such intensified protests if it fails to meet workers’ demands and control the soaring prices of essential commodities. The unions sought a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss issues concerning the working class.