The working class of India organised a successful two-day all-India strike in support of their long pending demands. The call for the strike was given by the Joint Convention of Trade Unions held on 28th September in New Delhi. Leaders and thousands of activists of trade unions and workers’ organisations across the country had participated in this Convention.
The strike action was led by unions and federations including ITUC, CITU, Hind Mazdoor Sabha, UTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, INTUC, SEVA, and LPF.
Various communist and left parties organised joint actions towards to make the strike successful.
Lakhs of workers from banks, insurance, ports, transport, coal, energy and defence participated enthusiastically in the strike. These sectors came to a stand-still during the strike. Teachers and professors from universities and college across India also participated in the strike. Workers and students participated energetically. Workers of health services, forest department, electricity, municipal services also joined the strike. Telecommunication workers from MTNL, BSNL also participated in the strike.
Workers of various government schemes and 3-wheeler, taxi, private bus drivers and operators, and gas agency also struck work.
Crores of working people across the country participated in the strike expressing their anger against the government.
Through this strike the working class expressed their opposition to the anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti-national and anti-people steps taken by the government in the service of the capitalist class.
The working class demanded that the amendments made to the labour laws in the interest of the capitalist class must be reversed and that the government abandon the programme of privatization and liberalization, and stop day light robbery of people to fill the coffers of the capitalists. They also demanded that banking and wholesale trade must be nationalized, poverty should be eliminated and a universal public distribution system should be established.
They reiterated their long pending demands of stopping the contract system, ensuring equal pay for equal work, social security and minimum wage of Rs. 180000, removal of ceiling on bonus and EPF, ensuring registration of trade union within 45 days of application, reversal of the anti-worker amendments in the labour laws, and halting the programme of privatization, etc.
The workers did not get intimidated by the warning and threats issued by central and state governments against participation in the strike. The central and state governments had threatened the workers of strict action in the event of their participation in the strike. Some state governments used black laws like ESMA to arrest the workers who joined the strike.
Thousands and lakhs of workers in metros like Mumbai, Kolkatta, and Chennai and in other cities and villages came on to the streets against the capitalists system and the policies of the central and state government, and blocked the road and rail transport in many places. Demonstrations were organised at numerous place across the country. The workers made human chains, organised rallies, demonstrations and street corner meetings.
The strike was organised at various industrial areas across the states In addition to the industrial workers, landless labourers, anganwadi workers, ASHA and Mid-day meal workers and construction workers participated in the strike. Many peasants organised bands in rural areas in support of this all India strike.
This two day strike clearly demonstrates that the workers and working people are coming to the fore to fight against intensifying attacks by the capitalists. Workers and toilers are defeating the attempts to divide them on the basis of region, language, religion, caste, gender, and are getting more and more united to advance the struggle.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar salutes working class of India for organising this strike successfully.