General strike on Monday

16 trade unions to take part in the strike

March 31, 2018 09:45 pm | Updated 09:45 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Sixteen trade unions in the State have called for a general strike on Monday seeking rollback of a Union government order that will allow fixed term employment across sectors.

The strike, under the aegis of a coordination committee of trade unions, will see the trade unions take out a march from near the Museum police station to Raj Bhavan at 11 a.m. on the day, former MLA V. Sivankutty said at a press conference here on Saturday.

Protests to a Central government office would be taken out in the districts.

Mr. Sivankutty said the Centre had amended the Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Central Rules 1946 through a gazette notification on March 16 without placing it in Parliament. It would allow companies to ‘hire-and-fire’ by opening up the contract labour rules. Workers on fixed term employment need not be served with any termination notice, irrespective of the period for which they were employed. They would not be entitled to notice-period salary if the contract were to be terminated. Each time a contract ended, workers would be faced with uncertainly about their future.

He said the unions, at a meeting, had made known to the government their objections to the draft notification brought out earlier, but were forced to walk out in the wake of the government’s stance on the issue.

The new rule, he said, affected people across all segments and should be opposed. Traders had been urged to support the strike, he said, calling for the cooperation of the public too.

On Sunday, torchlight processions to promote the strike would be taken out across the State. The 24-hour strike would begin on Sunday midnight. A procession would be held at Thampanoor here on Sunday midnight.

Emergency services such as newspapers, milk, hospitals, medicine shops, marriages and those taking flights had been exempted from the strike.

Workers of the BMS too had been urged to take part in the strike, Mr. Sivankutty said.

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