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University, college teachers unions endorse Sept 2 general strike call

The decision of the university and college teachers’ unions on Monday to back the call for a national general strike by the Central Trade Unions, minus the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated trade union Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, could make it one of the biggest strikes in recent memory.

Endorsement of the strike call by the All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations (AIFUCTO) is bound to accentuate the dilemma of the BMS on whether or not to be part of the stir. The BMS National Executive is meeting this week end to take a final call on the issue.

In the build up to the nation wide strike the central trade unions would a ‘National Protest Day’ on Tuesday and it would culminate in a joint rally to be addressed by union representatives here.

Demands of the trade unions and the teachers unions are common only to the point that the union government is pursuing ‘anti-people’ policies. Each section has its set of demands.

The AIFUCTO has also given a call for mass casual leave on September 5, which coincides with Teachers' Day. They intend to give their draft of on ‘New Education Policy’ and press for UGC seventh Pay Review Committee.

The trade unions had observed a similar strike on September 2 last year on a broad chapter of 12 demands in protest against what they had termed as “anti-people” policies of the Narendra Modi Government. The BMS which had initially agreed to the strike call backed off in the last minute on the plea that the centre had agreed to some of the demands and would hold talks on the remaining issues.

Last month, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Datttreya had met representatives of the central trade unions for an interactive session. Though he himself referred to the forthcoming general strike, the minister made no commitment on the 12-point charter.

“It was a good wishes meeting. The Minister said nothing on our charter of demands. We are firm on the strike’’, General Secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Gurudas Dasgupta told The Hindu.

The Central Trade Unions in their joint letter to the Labour Minister had suggested that it would be useful if the Committee of Ministers (to look into the charter of demands) also participates in the discussions. The last meeting with Committee of Ministers headed by Arun Jaitely was held in August 2015.

Among the demands of the trade unions are strict enforcement of all basic labour laws, minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000 per month with provisions of indexation, assured enhanced pension not less than Rs 3,000 per month, stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs and end of contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 4:54:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/University-college-teachers-unions-endorse-Sept-2-general-strike-call/article14560371.ece

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