As many as 11 Central trade unions in the country, including those of the bank and insurance employees, will strike work on February 20 and 21 in protest against “people-unfriendly policies” of the Union government, Gurudas Dasgupta, general secretary, All India Trade Union Congress and Member of Parliament, said here on Monday.

The unions have placed 10 demands, including fixing statutory minimum wages at Rs. 10,000, stopping contract labour, bringing the unorganised sector workers under EPF Act and ESI Act, raising minimum pension to Rs. 3,000 per month and implementing labour laws pertaining to work hours, wages and work conditions, before the government.

Mr. Dasgupta opposed disinvestment in public sector units and increasing foreign direct investment across sectors. Mr. Dasgupta spoke about how the government is soft towards the private sector companies. “I ask the Prime Minister this: when he has all the time in the world to meet private liquor barons who are defaulting on their loans and not paying employees, why is it that he cannot spare the time to meet trade unions and their representatives. This is another question that he refused to reply, even when asked on the floor of the House.”

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