Biggest ever strike in post-independent India
Around 100 million workers across India took part in the one day strike on September 7, 2010 against the anti-working class policies of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre and the state governments.
INDIA: Today, September 7, India witnessed one of the biggest ever workers' strikes in the post-independence history. Around 100 million (10 crore) workers from various sectors such as banks, insurance, coal, power, telecom, defence, port and dock, road transport and petroleum and unorganised sectors like construction joined the strike. Impact of the strike was felt along the length and breadth of the country. Particularly, left ruled Indian states of West Bengal, Kerala and also in other states such as Manipur, Assam and Maharastra witnessed large number of workers' participation in the strike.
Dr G Sanjeeva Reddy, convener of the Coordination Committee of Central Trade Unions and member of the IMF Executive Committee said that with the implementation of neo-liberal policies workers have lost their bargaining power and central and state governments' policies were framed to protect the interests of the big business. He said that the strike was organised to reassert the bargaining power of trade unions.
The five-point charter demands:
- Contain the price rise of essential commodities;
- Take proactive measures to link employment protection in recession hit sectors;
- Strictly enforce all basic labour laws without any exception;
- Announce INR 5000 million for an unorganised workers' social security fund; and
- Stop disinvestment in central public sector enterprises.
IMF affiliates INMF and SMEFI actively participated in the general strike. The strike call was given by the Coordination Committee of Central Trade Unions consisting of eight central trade unions including INTUC, AITUC, CITU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU and UTUC. Public sector, cooperative and rural bank employees also joined the strike and opposed the FDI in the banking sector and grant of licences to private banks. Sep 07, 2010 – G. Manicandan