New Delhi: Labour minister Santosh Gangwar on Tuesday appealed to the unions to drop a proposed two-day nationwide strike against the government’s “unilateral labour reforms" and engage in talks instead.

Trade unions have called the strike for 9-10 November. Gangwar asked them to engage in discussions on their 12-point charter of demands.

Gangwar met representatives of all central trade unions on Tuesday for nearly four hours and assured them that the government will take them along on labour reforms.

“Government has highest regard for the consultative process and we are committed to uphold it," he said. Labour ministry officials gave a presentation to unions, explaining the status of their demands including universal social security and enhanced pension plans.

“Government and ministry of labour has consistently and continuously taken pro-labour decisions and initiatives," the minister said.

Last week, a group of 10 central unions had written to Gangwar saying that the Centre was deliberately trying to break the trade union movement and create fissures in its unity by not inviting the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), affiliated to the Congress party, to the talks.

The talks scheduled last Friday could not take place after the unions byocotted it, Mint reported on 3 November.

“We strongly protest the deliberate measure to exclude INTUC, part of the joint trade union movement that has been raising the demands," the unions had said in a joint letter to Gangwar.

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