A joint forum of central trade unions is calling a two-day Bharat Bandh (nationwide shutdown) on Monday and Tuesday against several policies of the central government. The nationwide strike means that essential services might be affected. According to the All India Trade Union Congress, the strike is expecting participation of over 20 crore workers from both the formal and informal sector.
As India braces for a two-day shutdown, here are ten things that you must know.
> The strike has been called by workers’ unions of sectors including coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, banks and insurance.
> The joint forum comprises several trade unions including All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).
> According to the power ministry, the nationwide strike will begin from 6 am on Monday and continue till 6 am on Wednesday.
>Essential services including banks, transportation, railways and electricity are likely to be affected due to the strike.
> According to a statement by the joint forum, the unions in the railways and defence sector will be carrying out mass mobilisations to support the strike.
> Some of the demands by the unions including scrapping the proposed changes in labour laws, privatisation and the national monetisation pipeline.
> The trade unions have also demanded a hike in wages under the MNREGA and the regularisation of contract workers.
> The union power ministry has issued an advisory to all states, public sector central electricity authority, national load dispatch centre and regional load dispatch centres and suggested measures to ensure smooth power supply.
> Several public sector banks including the State of Bank of India have said their services could get affected to a certain limit. But the SBI is said to have made arrangements to ensure smooth functioning of branches.
> The West Bengal government has said that all government offices will remain open and the employees must report to duty.
(With agency inputs)