Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh threatens national strike, plans protests over labour codes

RSS-affiliated union warns of nationwide strike if demands for roll back are not met.

October 06, 2020 07:55 pm | Updated 08:00 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Virjesh Upadhyay.

Virjesh Upadhyay.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated trade union, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), on Tuesday announced that it would hold protests on October 28 against the “anti-worker” provisions of the recently passed labour codes and threatened a national strike if the Centre does not address its demands.

At its three-day national conference held virtually from October, the BMS elected new office-bearers and passed six resolutions regarding demands of workers, the outgoing general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay said at an online press conference. Former BMS vice-president Hiranmay Pandya was elected as the union’s national president, he said.

BMS had decided to carry out a continuous national agitation against the “anti-worker” provisions of the labour codes, three of which were passed by Parliament last month , newly-elected BMS general secretary Binay Kumar Sinha said.

3 labour codes get President's assent

In its first resolution, the BMS demanded that the government immediately withdraw the provisions, including those curtailing the right to strike in the Industrial Relations Code, that would be detrimental to workers, he said. The government should hold a consultation with all unions to make the labour codes more beneficial to workers, he said.

The BMS would observe October 10-16 as a “warning week” and to educate workers about the changes, he said. Protests would be held on October 28 and if the “voice of workers” is ignored by the government, then national level strikes would be organised, he said.

A wage code that is a hasty composition

The BMS also passed resolutions against the Centre and States amending labour laws through ordinances and called for a single pension system in the country which provides a pension not less than 50% of the last salary and a minimum pension of ₹5,000 for the unorganised sector. The national conference was inaugurated by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar also participated, a statement said.

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