Leaders of the Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU) have appealed to people to join the two-day general strike called by major trade unions on February 20 and 21 and to observe a general bandh in protest against the Union government’s “anti-people” policies.
Addressing a JCTU convention here on Thursday, district secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress Shoukat Ali Alur, with K. Somashekar Yadgir of the All-India United Trade Union Centre and others, came down on the Union government for “being indifferent to the long-pending demands of workers and trade unions”.
Mr. Alur said that instead of taking strong measures to contain the price rise, the Union government had initiated measures such as decontrol of diesel prices, which has fuelled the increase in the prices of essential commodities.
The Food Security Bill introduced by the Union government, and the Direct Cash Transfer system would destroy the Public Distribution System (PDS), which ensures subsidised foodgrains for the poor. Extending the direct cash transfer system to the beneficiaries of the PDS would have little or no impact, he said. The only remedy is to universalise PDS and ensure a supply of subsidised foodgrains to all families irrespective of their economic status, Mr. Alur added.
The Union government has not conceded the workers’ long-pending demand for the removal of ceilings imposed on payment and eligibility for the provident fund. The government has also failed to increase the gratuity limit paid at the time of retirement.
Mr. Yadgir said the government should immediately stop disinvestment in profit-making public sector units. “The government should also end the exploitation of workers employed on contract by ensuring that they receive wages proportionate to the work done,” he said.
The Minimum Wages Act should be amended, and the government should fix the statutory payment of minimum wage for all sectors at Rs. 10,000 a month. Workers in the unorganised sector should be extended universal social security cover, and a national social security fund should be created to take care of their social security requirements, he added.
‘Replacing Public Distribution System with direct cash transfer system will have no impact’ Create national social security fund for workers in unorganised sector: union leader
‘Replacing Public Distribution System with direct cash transfer system will have no impact’
Create national social security fund for workers in unorganised sector: union leader