8th January 2020: General Strike

Union of IT & ITES Employees (UNITE)

8th January 2020: General Strike

CTU General strike and it’s significance to IT and ITES employees.

A statement released on behalf of the central trade unions (CTU) reads thus

“None of the issues which have been continuously raised by the Central Trade Unions, including the basic issues of unemployment, minimum wages and social security were addressed by the Minister. Doing away with all democratic practices, the government has not called the tripartite Indian Labour Conference after 2015. The unions further stated that against such anti labour policies of the Govt, along with other issues, the central trade unions have decided to go in for a countrywide General Strike on 8th January 2020 and the strike stands. The strike is going to take place in a massive way throughout the country with the active support of various sections including the peasantry.”

This strike called by the CTU includes all major trade unions and includes a charter of demands.

The charter of demands includes some very relevant implications for the IT and ITES employees.

The charter calls for the strict enforcement of labour laws with stringent punitive measures for failure to comply. The implementation of labour laws will imply strict adherence to EPF contributions, Minimum wages, Gratuity payments and Bonus on remunerations. The right to unions and the company’s adherence to statutory requirements on layoffs and retrenchments are supremely important at this point in time, when illegal pink slips are announced on media and executed.

For a respectable livelihood and an affordable life, the charter also calls for social security to all workers which should cover pensions, healthcare and Insurance.

The insistance on minimum wages of Rs 21000 to all workers is a boon to the young and the toiling masses of the country that weather for paltry sums all day long. We should remember that the Rs 21000 is itself a calulated number for the bare minimum requirements for a respectable life.

To keep a tab on the merciless exploitation by organisations the charter calls for stoppage of contractual work, payment of equal benefits to contract employees and a strict no-no to fixed term employment.

Another important demand of the CITU is for the safety and equality of women employees. The demand includes six months of paid maternity leave, implementation of creches in organisations and most importantly equal pay for equal work.

The demands also include a case against the implementation of anti-worker laws and ease in registration of Unions.

Therefore as alienated as most of us are about the all India general strike called by all major unions today, the demands proposed by the strike is significant for the present and the future of us, the IT and ITES employees.

This strike is about us and for us.

UNITE extends its unequivocal support to the general strike called by the CTU.