New Delhi: Demanding social security and a minimum monthly salary of Rs24,000, scores of transport workers in several parts of India went on a strike for two days from today. In several cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, commuters may have a tough time finding cabs, buses and auto rickshaws as a result of the all-India strike.
Operators of Mumbai’s BEST buses, Bengaluru’s Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses have threatened to join the nationwide protest against “anti-worker" government policies. It is not yet known whether Uber and Ola services will also get affected due to the strike.
Several unions like the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), Chalak Shakti Union, Rajdhani Parivahan Panchayat and Auto Taxi Union, Delhi, have joined the transport strike called by 10 trade unions — INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, AICCTU, UTUC, TUCC, LPF and SEWA.
“The workers are not covered by any labour law and do not have any social security. In such a situation, the Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill if passed by the Rajya Sabha will add fuel to fire and ruin the industry," the All India Co-ordination Committee of Road Transport Workers’ Organisation said in a statement.
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Their demands include enactment of the Social Security Act and setting of a minimum wage of Rs24,000 for unorganised transport workers.
The two-day nationwide strike is not limited to the transport sector as lakhs of employees of the banking and insurance industry, public sector companies and port and dock workers will also join the strike to protest against the growing economic crisis, price rise and acute unemployment on the call of central trade unions and mass organisations.
In rural areas, farmers across the country under the aegis of the Left peasant wings have threatened to observe ‘gramin hartal’, rail roko and road roko against the “failure" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to address rural distress.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) is protesting against the government’s move to amend the Trade Union Act 1926 in the name of bringing about “so-called transparency".