Members of various trade unions and organisations held protests here on Thursday, to mark the second day of the 48-hour general strike called by the Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU).

Members from different trade unions, including the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All-India Trade Union Congress, All-India United Trade Union Congress, All-India Bank Employees’ Association, the Karnataka State Government Employees’ Okkoota, Students’ Federation of India and the Panchayat Workers’ Union, took part in the strike.

They first held a protest in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue, and later outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office, and submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Leaders who addressed the protesters condemned the Union government’s alleged move to curtail the rights and privileges of the working class.

Policies

All these policies are being mooted in the name of accelerating economic growth of the country.

The Union government should explain to the people what kind of development they wanted to achieve at the cost of the common people’s interests, the leaders said.

Denying rightful facilities like minimum wages, provident fund, Employee’s State Insurance (ESI), bonus and gratuity in both public sector enterprises and private sector has become the order of the day.

This was another kind of bonded labour system. The government which had been turning blind eye on these issues should clarify how it was possible to achieve development in real terms by denying the common people their dues?, they asked.

The main demands of JCTU include checking the price rise of essential commodities, jobs for all, increasing minimum wages to R.s10000 per month, doing away with contractorisation of regular work, job security to contract labours and crying a halt to the anti-people policies being pursued by both the Central Government and State governments.

‘Not a bandh’

The JCTU clarified that the 48-hour agitation was the general strike by various trade unions, and not a bandh of any kind as was reported in a section of media. JCTU had called for the protest, not for the closure of business establishments, said a release from JCTU’s district unit.

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