Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: After a gap of almost a decade, all the nine major trade unions on Wednesday jointly staged a dharna in front of Parliament to protest against price rise, job loss, and disinvestment of public sector undertakings.

This is the first time that the Congress-led INTUC has joined hands with All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and CITU, besides HMS and BMS. The All India Bank Employees Association’s agitation also coincided with the agitation. It was opposing the merger of banks and the reforms the government sought to impose.

AITUC general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said these unions would meet again on December 23 to chalk out their future course of action and seek an appointment with the Prime Minister to seek special welfare funds for the unorganised sector and maternity benefits for women in the unorganised sector.

He said the unions decided to launch a jail “bharo” agitation on February 17, 2010 to intensify the agitation. The united fight would compel the government to change its measures to curb price rise and restore trade union rights that was curbed in several parts of the country.