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10 trade unions hold protests to demand rollback of PSU privatisation, labour reforms

Ten central trade unions held a nationwide protest to demand the rollback of the PSU privatisation programme and the labour reforms

  • The trade unions said in a joint statement that the protests were directed against the government’s anti-worker policies

  • Besides demanding cash support of Rs 7,500, the unions have asked the government withdraw DA freeze for government employees and PSU employees

New Delhi: Ten central trade unions held a nationwide protest on Friday to demand the rollback of the government’s PSU privatisation programme and the labour reforms announced by states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The 10 central trade unions, including the Congress-backed INTUC, Left’s CITU and AITUC and others like HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC, said in a joint statement that the protests were directed against the government’s anti-worker policies.

The protests come a day after RSS-affiliate BMS (Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh) observed a nationwide protest demanding the President to not give his assent to ordinances related to labour laws moved by BJP-ruled states.

Halt your PSU privatisation programme: Unions tell PM in a letter

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the central trade unions said, “We demand that you halt your policy of wholesale privatization PSUs and government departments through multi-pronged routes like corporatization, outsourcing, PPP, liberalized FDI etc, which were reiterated and announced during the package announcements by the FM from 13th May to 17th May 2020 in particular and also in your own addresses during lockdown period.”

‘Withdraw DA freeze for govt staff, cash transfer for labour force for 3 months’

Besides demanding cash support of Rs 7,500 for all non-income tax-paying households including unorganised labour force (registered or unregistered or self-employed) for three months (April, May and June), the unions have asked the government withdraw DA freeze for government employees and PSU employees and DR freeze for pensioners. They have also asked the government to put a complete halt to any changes/dilutions in labour laws by states.

‘Rs 20 lakh cr package has only empowered corporates’

Condemning the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced in five tranches by the government last week, the trade unions said that the package has only empowered corporates.

“In essence, the five tranches’ announcement by your finance minister, instead of providing any relief to several crores of the working population, both in urban and rural economy, has in actuality, come out as permanent empowerment of the big corporate and business houses, both foreign and domestic,” it said, adding that it only kills the basic human entitlements of the working people.