Saturday, 16 February 2019


MOST IMPORTANT

URGENT


Circular Dated 16.02.2019
DECISIONS OF THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT MEETING OF CONFEDERATION
National Secretariat Meeting of Confederation held at New Delhi on 15.02.2019, after detailed deliberations, took the following important decisions. Com. K. K. N. Kutty, National President, presided.
Confederation National Secretariat Strongly Condemned the barbaric attack on Indian security forces by Pakistan sponsored terrorists, killing 40 Jawans. Confederation conveys its deepest Condolences to the bereaved family members of the Jawans who sacrificed their life for the nation.
CONFEDERATION DECLARES THREE PHASE CAMPAIGN AND STRUGGLE.

FOR WORKING CLASS, ELECTIONS ARE ALSO PART OF STRUGGLE.

CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.
The BJP-led NDA Government is going to complete its five years tenure. General Elections to the Parliament is going to be declared shortly. Based on our five years experience, Central Govt. Employees and Pensioners and their families have to take a position and use our right to vote to protect our interest and the interest of the Nation at large. We should remember that “Ballots are more powerful than bullets” in a democratic country.
As far as 32 lakhs Central Government employees and 33 lakhs Central Govt. Civilian Pensioners are concerned this five year period is the worst in the post-independence period. None of our demands are favourably considered by the NDA Government, rather we have been betrayed and our hopes ended is despair. The same is the case with three lakhs Gramin Dak Sevaks of the Postal department and thousands of casual, contingent and contract workers.
Even though the Group of Cabinet Ministers headed by Shri Rajnath Singh, Home Minister and Shri Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister had given categorical assurance on 30.06.2016 that Minimum Pay and Fitment formula will be increased, in 2018 December, Govt. made it clear in the Parliament that “no such proposal is under consideration of the Government, at present”. Much publicity was given for the Constitution of “NPS Committee”, but the demand to “Scrap NPS &; Restore OPS” is rejected and even the demand for ensuring guaranteed Minimum Pension (i.e., 50% of the last pay drawn or Rs.9000/- whichever is higher) was also turned down. Again, Govt. replied in Parliament that the demand to scrap NPS & Restore OPS cannot be considered favourably due to various reasons. NPS employees are retiring every month with a megre amount of Rs.1000/- to 3000/- as annuity pension. Retirement of each NPS employee is just like a death due to uncertainty about the future life of NPS Pensioner and the family dependent on him/her.
HRA arrears from 01.01.2016 to 30.06.2017 was denied and each employee lost an average Rs. One Lakh. MACP Bench mark, date of effect from 01.01.2006, promotional hierarchy, everything fell on deaf ear. None of the anomalies of 7th CPC are settled. Option-I parity recommended by 7th CPC to Pensioners is mercilessly rejected. Revison of wages and pension of many Autonomous bodies are still pending. Compassionate appointment has become a cruel joke, as majority of the cases are rejected. Trade Union rights are under attack and pro-BJP Unions are given undue favours. All negotiating forums including National Council JCM are either defunct or ineffective.
More than six lakhs posts are lying vacant due to undeclared ban on recruitment. Three lakhs low-paid Gramin Dak Sevaks are cheated by denying arrears of pay for 30 months to be calculated proportionately on the basis of pay scales recommended by the Kamalesh Chandra Committee. Many positive recommendations are either rejected or diluted. Thousands of Casual, part-time, contingent, daily rated mazdoors and contract workers are denied equal wage for equal work. Regularisation of GDS and Casual/Contract workers has become a mirage. None of the 10 points demands of Confederation is settled including sectional demands of various cadres. None of the demands raised by JCM National Council Staff Side and National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) are also settled.
More and more attacks on existence of Central Govt. departments and employees are made. Privatisation of various functions of Railway department, outsourcing of more than 200 items in Defence sector, fast move to corporatize Postal, Closure of 12 out of 17 Govt. of India Printing Presses etc. are threatening the very existence of thousands of employees.
In short, under the BJP led NDA Government our wages and allowances are under attack, our job security and existence is under attack, our social security and pension is under attack, and our trade Union rights and facilities are under attack. Shall we vote for continuation of aggressive implementation of this destructive policies. No, not at all. It is in the above background Confederation National Secretariat has decided to implement the following campaigns and agitational programmes.
I.    CAMPAIGN FORTNIGHT FROM 2019 MARCH 15TH TO 30TH CULMINATING IN MASS RALLIES AT ALL STATE HEADQUARTERS AND DISTRICT HEAD QUARTERS.
Intensive campaign among the employees, pensioners and their families and also among the public should be conducted during the fortnight. General body meetings, conventions, group meetings, office to office campaign, seat to seat campaign etc. are to be organized by each COC and each affiliated organization. As a culmination of the campaign programmme mass rallies of employees and pensioners are to be organized in an impressive manner at all state Head Quarters and District/Divisional Head Quarters. Notices, leaflets, posters, boards etc. are to be printed and widely circulated. Maximum publicity through print and electronic media and also through websites and other social media is to be given. 10 point charter of Confederation, of which the 1st and the most important demand is “Scrap NPS & RESTORE OPS”, shall be the basis of the campaign and mass rallies. Wherever Confederation units (COC) are not there, NFPE Divisional Secretaries shall jointly take the responsibility to organize the above programme and also below mentioned other programmes.
II. TWO PROGRAMMES EXCLUSIVELY ON NPS
(1)  Day Long Mass Dharna on 11th April 2019 (Thursday) at all Centres – state and District Head Quarters.
(2)  “Candle light protest” on 23rd April 2019 (Tuesday) at all Centres at state and District head Quarters.
In the Central Government employees sector Confederation is the only organisation which has been continuously organizing struggle programmes against NPS, including strikes. It is decided to organize the above two programmes, exclusively on one demand i.e., “Scrap NPS & Restore OPS”. These programme are to express our protest and anger against the totally negative attitude of the NDA Government and also to build pressure on other political parties to compel them give top most priority to the above demand. In both the programmes, maximum participation of employees and pensioners is to be ensured. Candle light programme is to be arranged in such a manner, so that maximum public attention and media attention will be received. In both the above programmes, like-minded political Leaders, trade Union leaders, important personalities etc. may also be invited to participate and address. Candle light procession is not required. Maximum mobilization at a selected place is enough on the evening of 23rd April 2019 (Tuesday).
III.   NJCA PROGRAMMES
National Joint Council of Action (NJCA) met after a long gap. Eventhough Confederation Leadership reiterated our earlier stand i.e; revival of the deferred indefinite strike, the Railway Leadership (AIRF & NFIR) are reluctant to give a call for strike, for their own reasons. Finally it is decided to organize the following two programmes.
      1.   13th March 2019 – NPS Dharna and Demonstration at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi
A massive demonstration – cum – dharna will be organized under the auspices of National JCA to highlight and focus the demand for the withdrawal of New Pension Scheme and restoration of old Pension Scheme for Central Govt. Employees. The National JCA will simultaneously write to all Political parties to make their stand clear on the issue of New Pension Scheme in their respective manifestos. The National JCA will spearhead a campaign amongst the employees for acceptance of the demand by the Political Parties. The dharna will be at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, and the same will be participated by the employees of Railways, Defence and Confederation working in and around Delhi besides NJCA Leaders. On the same day similar dharnas and demonstration will be held in front of the all Central Govt. offices throughout the country. The employees will also be requested to wear black badges projecting the demand for withdrawal of NPS.
Confederation National Secretariat calls upon all COCs and affiliated organisations to mobilise maximum number of Central Govt. employees from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar on 13.03.2019. Dharnas and demonstrations may be organized in all major centres of other states, if possible jointly with Railways and Defence or Confederation alone.
     2.   28TH MARCH 2019 – FOR REVIVAL OF JCM FORUMS
A protest day long dharna will be organised at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, on 28.03.2019, in which all National Council Members will take part, to highlight the need to revive the JCM forums, thus ensuring constant and continuous interaction between the Government and the employees. It will also focus the intolerable attitude of the official side even in issuing orders, where Supreme Court has given the verdict in favour of the employees. The Cabinet Secretary will be informed of this decision well in advance. A huge demonstration will also be organized on the same day in front of dharna venue in which employees working in and around Delhi will participate.
National Secretariat of Confederation calls upon the Delhi C-O-C and affiliated organisations to ensure maximum participation of employees from Delhi in the above programme on 28.03.2019.
IV.NCCPA PROGRAMME – PENSIONERS DEMANDS – 15TH MARCH 2019 – NEW DELHI
National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Associations (NCCPA) will be organizing a mass dharna at New Delhi on 15.03.2019 demanding early settlement of Charter of demands submitted by NCCPA to Govt. National Secretariat Members of Confederation, COC Delhi and all affiliated organisations are requested to mobilise maximum employees from Delhi to participate in the NCCPA dharna on 15.03.2019.
V.   A resolution on important demands of Central Govt. employees and Pensioners
is adopted in the National Secretariat meeting which is to be circulated widely among the Central Govt. employees and Pensioners during the campaign fortnight. Copy of the resolution will be exhibited in the Confederation website shortly.
VI.INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY ON 8TH MARCH 2019
National Secretariat decided to celebrate International Womens Day on 8th March 2019 in a befitting manner alongwith likeminded organisations wherever possible or separately by Confederation. Confederation Womens Sub Committee office bearers Com. Usha Bonepalli (Chairperson) Com. R. Seethalakshmi (Convenor) Com. Gita Bhattacharjee (Joint Convenor) had attended the National Secretariat meeting. An article written by Com. Usha Bonepalli on the theme of the 2019 Women’s Day and also about the importance of International Womens Day will be published shortly in the Confederation website.
VII.    NEXT NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CONFEDERATION
National Secretariat decided to conduct the next National Conference of Confederation at Nagpur (Maharashtra). COC Nagpur will convene their meeting immediately and fix the dates and venue of the Conference. A preparatory committee will also be formed at Nagpur shortly to commence the preliminary work in connection with the National Conference.
VIII. ALL INDIA TRADE UNION CAMP
All India Trade Union Camp, as already decided in the last National Secretariat meeting will be organized after General Elections.
IX.  FINANCIAL REVIEW
National Secretariat decided to request all affiliated organisations and COCs to remit their quota arrears before 15.03.2019. Details of quota and arrears is already sent to all by Financial Secretary Com. Vrigu Bhattacharjee. As the Financial position of Confederation CHQ is precarious, all affiliates and COCs are once again requested to remit the quota and arrears before 15.03.2019.

Fraternally yours,
(M. Krishnan)
Secretary General
Confederation
Mob & WhatsApp: 09447068125
Email: mkrishnan6854@gmail.com

Friday, 11 January 2019

Two days’ Countrywide General Strike Working Class of lndia Rises In A Tide Against Modi Government’s Policies

K Hemalata
President CITU

The magnificent country wide general strike on 8-9 January 2019 reflected the tide of people’s anger against the anti worker, anti people and anti national neoliberal policies pursued by the BJP led government at the centre. It surpassed, in its sweep and depth, even the earlier two massive general strikes, on 2nd September 2015 and 2016 held during this Modi government’ regime.

The participation of workers in the general strike across sectors and the massive support and solidarity it received from all cross sections of people across the country indicate the growing resentment of people against the government. The national organisations of the peasants and agricultural workers, dalits, adivasis etc,. extended active support and called for a ‘grameen bandh’ bringing rural India to a standstill. The retired employees’ organisations also have actively campaigned for and supported the strike.       

Full reports of the strike have not been received. Below is the information as up to the afternoon of 9th January.

The strike in Assam was unprecedented. All the tea gardens were closed. Refineries were closed. Workers, both permanent and contract workers picketed and demonstrated outside several refineries. Workers along with fraternal mass organisations of peasants, agricultural workers, students, women etc held rail roko all over the state. Police arrested hundreds of activists including Tapan Sharma, general secretary of the state committee of CITU.

The strike received massive response from the working class in Bihar. Road transport was totally paralyzed. Scheme workers, construction workers, beedi workers participated in the strike and held huge rallies in Samastipur, Khagaria, Darbhanga, Jamui, Begusarai and other districts. Roads were blocked in Samastipur, Katihar etc. The state bandh called by the Left parties in support of the strike, on the issues of peasants and agricultural workers and against the deteriorating law and order situation in the state, on 9th January was total.

The industrial workers and employees in NCR Delhi joined the strike in a big way. Only 5 workers joined duty in the public sector CEL. The industrial areas of Okhla 3 phases, Naraina, Mayapuri, Mongolpuri 2 phases, Udyognagar, Nangloi, Wazirpur, GT Karnal Road, Badlhi, Rajasthanpuri, Bhorgarh etc, were totally closed. Workers struck work and marched in processions which culminated in rallies in different industrial areas. Around 2000 to 3000 workers participated in each rally. Teachers and students of Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University joined the strike en masse. Universities were closed.

Gujarat, home state of Prime Minister Modi, witnessed such a joint strike of workers for the first time in many decades. The trade unions took up extensive joint campaign. Engineering workers in Baroda, Surat, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Junagarh, Ahmedabad, most of them not organised under any trade union joined the strike in large numbers. Despite the threats of victimisation from the BJP government in the state, anganwadi employees and ASHAs joined the strike and held massive demonstrations in most of the districts in the state. For the first time midday meal workers joined the strike. BMS campaigned extensively against the strike calling it a ‘political strike’. Despite this, anganwadi employees affiliated to the BMS union in 3 ICDS projects in the state joined the strike and also the demonstrations held on the occasion. Big rallies were held in 8 cities – Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Junagarh, Baroda, Anand and Palanpur. Around 3000 to 8000 workers participated in each.

The modern industrial area of Gurgaon in Haryana witnessed good response of the workers to the strike. Hero Honda declared 3 days’ holiday. Except Maruti, most of the big industries including Honda remained closed. Workers in all the smaller industries in the area struck work and joined rallies. A huge joint rally of industrial workers was held on 8th January. Workers in govt sector, roadways and unorganised sector like brick-kiln, forest, village chowkidar, construction etc joined the strike in a big way.

Strike in Rajasthan in different industries, both in organised and unorganised sector has been quite noticeable despite severe police repression on the striking workers in the MNC dominated industrial area in Neemrana. There have been numerous demonstrations and procession by the striking workers along with others throughout the state.

The scheme workers, MGNREGA workers, Hydel project workers as well as industrial workers in Himachal Pradesh participated in the strike. Huge rallies with mostly women workers were held in several district headquarters.

Despite the difficult political situation in the state, unorganized sector workers and scheme workers participated in the strike in thousands in Jammu and Kashmir. Interstate bus services were off the road. A procession with the participation of scheme workers, railway contract workers, construction workers, coal mine workers, hydro project workers, vendors, middle class employees etc was held in Jammu. Protest demonstrations were held in almost all the districts in the Kashmir valley.

The industrial areas of Bokaro, Ranchi, Adityapur, Gamharia in Jarkhand were almost closed due to the strike. Pharmaceutical industry was closed. Beedi workers and stone quarry workers in Pakur, Sahebganj and Chatra and Bauxite workers in Lohardaga were in total strike as were the workers in the copper mines and industry.
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Over 30 lakh workers, including industrial workers, public sector, government, bank, insurance, BSNL etc employees, scheme workers and unorganized sector workers, participated in the strike in Karnataka. There was total strike in public road transport; autos were off the road in Bengaluru. All the permanent workers in multinational corporations Toyota Kirloskar, Volvo buses and trucks, Coca Cola etc participated in the strike. Strike was total in the industrial areas of Bengaluru, Mysuru etc.

Despite the large scale disturbances sought to be created by the BJP against entry of women of all ages to the temple in Sabarimala, joint campaign was extensively conducted all over Kerala with an effort to reach every nook and corner of the state. Strike was total. Workers and members of other mass organisations picketed trains at 32 points. Train traffic was disrupted and several trains had to be cancelled. Trivandrum, Cochin and Kozhikode airport ground handling staff were on strike causing disruption of flights. Because of the campaign, people extended support to the strike. There were very few passengers in the buses and trains. Thousands of workers have gathered at the 483 strike centres which have been opened across the state. These centres were active for entire 48 hours duration of strike throughout day and night.

In addition to the total participation of Anganwadi employees, ASHAs and midday meal workers in the strike in Madhya Pradesh, thousands of workers in private industries, particularly cement industry participate in the strike. Strike was total in all the cement units where CITU had affiliated unions. In addition it was near total in Hitech and 75% in Heavy Engineering Workers. Workers in the industrial clusters in Indore, Neemuch etc,. and the contract workers in NFIL joined the strike. Though most of the road transport workers are not organised under any trade union, the extensive campaign by the CITU state committee resulted in massive participation of road transport workers with transport being seriously affected in 22 districts in the state, where no passenger buses could run. In Bhopal, 70% of the buses could not operate and 80% of city buses were stopped in depots. Even under government pressure, only 15% - 20% buses were operated. Strike in the coal mines in the state was also massive.

With the total participation of the transport workers in BEST (Bombay Electricity Supply and Transport) in the strike, bus services were off the road in Mumbai. There was total strike by workers in multinational companies like BOSCH, CEAT, Crompton, Samsonite etc. Thousands of permanent and contract workers of Reliance Industries also joined the strike. The industrial areas in Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Icchalkaranji were seriously affected due to the strike. Highways were blocked in many places. A massive rally planned jointly in Solapur could not be held as police denied permission because of Prime Minister’s visit to the city on that day.

Manipur bore a deserted look due to the massive strike. Vehicular traffic was totally stopped; educational institutions shut down and examinations were postponed. All the major markets were closed. Road blocks and demonstrations were held in many places.

There was a bandh like situation in Odisha. Road transport was totally off. Strike was 80% in cement and engineering industries. The strike in the public sector units like NALCO, Port and Dock and Indian Oil was over 80%. Scheme workers totally participated in the strike. Unorganised sector workers held rasta roko and rail roko in several places. All political parties including the ruling BJD, except BJP supported the strike.

Strike was total among the PUNBUS employees and electricity employees in Punjab and Chandigarh. Workers in the industrial areas of Ludhiana including Hero cycles, the cement factories in Bathinda, industries in Amritsar went on strike. Contract employees in private hospitals were on strike throughout the state. Scheme workers joined the strike en masse and participated in thousands in the demonstrations, rallies and rasta roko across the state.

Strike in Tamil Nadu was immense. Pondicherry witnessed a total bandh like situation with all sectors being paralysed. Over 85% of the public sector Salem steel plant employees, 70% of the BHEL employees were on strike. Workers in Neyveli Lignite, Tuticorin port and Salem Chemplast also joined the strike. The textile industry including the cooperative spinning mills, power looms, NTC mills were affected. 50% of the workers in the engineering industry were on strike. Workers in Madras Export Processing Zone also went on strike. Manufacturing units in north and south Chennai were closed. Loading and unloading were stopped. Workers in several railway goods sheds were on strike. Majority of the total markets in the state witnessed total strike. 80% electricity employees were on strike. Bill collection was closed in 90% centres. There was total strike in Thiruvallur thermal plant. 85% autos were off the road. Tea, rubber and coffee plantation workers including those in big estates went on strike. Street vendors also joined. Many other industries including the famous knitwear industry in Tiruppur, chemical industry, Salt Corporation, Ashok Leyland, tanneries, Tasmac, sugar, etc witnessed massive strike. Scheme workers joined. Beedi factories in 67 villages and towns were closed. Crackers and construction workers were on strike. 80% of autos were off the road.
Over 21 lakh workers and employees in Telangana participated in the strike. Strike was total in the automobile manufacturing units and breweries and distilleries and 80% in the engineering units in the industrial areas in Hyderabad and surrounding districts. 90% of the contract workers in NTPC joined the strike. Over 65% scheme workers joined the strike despite the threats and intimidation by the TRS government and its administration. ​

In Agartala in Tripura, despite the use of force, BJP government could manage to get only 30% of the shops opened and around 30% of buses to operate. Almost same has been the situation in many other districts of the state. Teachers attended schools but there were no students.

The main participants in the strike in Uttarakhand were the anganwadi employees and midday meal workers in addition to the government employees. In some places hotel workers, contract and outsourcing workers, work charged employees also participated. However, rallies were held in all the districts.

East India Pharmaceuticals, Britannia and other big industries in Kolkata were closed due to the strike in West Bengal. There was total strike in the jute mills with all except one being closed as well as in the engineering industry despite the terror by the Trinamool goons. There was no loading in trucks. Passenger and goods transport by in the state were practically out off roads. There was total strike in the industrial areas in 24 Paraganas, Hooghly, and Howrah. In tea garden workers in Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Dinajpur were on strike and participated in Rasta roko demonstrations. There was good strike in coal and steel in the state. 60% of the permanent workers in Calcutta port were on strike. 70% of street vendors in Kolkata joined the strike. Universities and colleges remained closed with the lecturers and students joining the strike. Despite attck unleashed by Police and Trinamool Congress goons on the striking workers in the state, it was resisted by the workers along with democratic people from all walks of lives throughout the state heroically.   Police arrested hundreds of activists and leaders including Anadi Sahu, general secretary of the CITU state committee.

Participation of workers in the major industries in this strike all over the country was quite high compared to the earlier strikes.

The overall participation of strike in the coal industry was around 70%- 75%. Production and dispatch almost collapsed. Both permanent and contract workers joined the strike in almost all the big projects including the outsourced projects.

Thirty lakh electricity workers, employees and engineers in the power sector joined the strike across the country at the call of the National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers.

The strike in the oil sector was unprecedented, particularly in Assam. Employees in various refineries in Assam joined the strike and picketed offices. Oil workers of 3 out of the 4 unions in Kochi refinery joined the strike despite the management getting a court order banning the strike. Contract workers participated along with the permanent employees. Overall, strike in the petroleum sector has been substantive in the eastern, north-eastern and southern India while it was partial in western and northern part.

There was good strike in the steel industry with near total strike in Vizag steel, Salem steel and Bhadravati. In Rourkela steel permanent workers joined the strike and picketed the plant and strike was around 50% on the whole. Contract workers joined the strike en masse. The strike in other steel plants viz., Bokaro, Bhilai and Durgapur was partial.

Strike was partial in the ports as some of the major unions did not join the strike in some of the major ports. But cargo handling was affected in Paradip, Tuticorin, Kolkata, Haldia, Visakhapatnam and Cochin ports.

Road transport was highly affected creating a bandh like situation in many states in the country. An estimated 3.5 crore transport workers and small owners participated in the strike. The strike in the road transport sector was total with the participation of workers in public and private passenger and goods transport including autos in Kerala, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Strike was over 80% in West Bengal. Strike had serious impact in Punjab, several districts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand.

Construction workers participated in the strike in a big way as well as in the demonstrations in the entire country. Plantation workers, tea, coffee, rubber, joined the strike en masse in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and in large numbers in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

In addition to the industrial workers, the strike saw massive participation of employees in the service sectors also.

Women scheme workers in all states including where the trade union movement was weak, participated not only in the strike but in the demonstrations all over the country. They lent visibility to the strike even in places where no other trade union existed.

Strike among insurance employees was near total all over the country. Lakhs of bank employees including the officers in the Regional Rural Banks, Cooperative Banks, Reserve Bank and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) participated in the strike at the call of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI).

Around 13 lakh central government employees joined the strike across the country as per the call given by the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers. The strike was total in the postal and income tax departments. In addition employees of Audit and Accounts, Civil Accounts, Atomic Energy, Geological Survey of India, Customs and Central Excise, Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Central Ground Water Board, Postal Accounts, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Printing and Stationery, Indian Bureau of Mines, AGMARK, Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), Medical Stores Depots, Film Division of India, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Central Food Processing Laboratory, Census Department, National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), Defence Accounts, Rehabilitation Department, Central Public Works Department (CPWD), Institute of Physics, LNCPE, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Canteen Employees, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Passport Department, and various other autonomous and scientific research institutes participated in the two days’ strike. The strike among central government employees was total in Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Haryana, Assam and other North Eastern states including Tripura. In all other states 60%-80% employees participated in the strike.

State government employees in many states joined the strike in a big way. While the strike was 90% in Kerala, around 80% of state government employees in Haryana and several other states joined the strike. In Uttar Pradesh over 60% employees were on strike while it was 40% in Himachal Pradesh.

Strike in BSNL was total in Kerala, West Bengal and the north eastern states and partial in other states.

In many states retired employees, including EPS 95 pensioners extended solidarity and support to the strike by joining the demonstrations and rallies.

Huge demonstrations and rallies were held in all the states in the industrial centres and district headquarters with the participation of thousands of workers in each. Industrial workers, middle class employees, scheme workers and unorganised workers participated in these in large numbers. Thousands of workers were arrested across the country including in Assam, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal etc.

Particularly significant in the strike was the enormous solidarity and support extended by the various sections of people – the peasants, agricultural workers, women, youth and students etc. In addition, the organisations of tribals, dalits etc also supported the strike. Thousands of members of these organisations and their national and state leaders directly participated in the demonstrations, rallies, rasta roko and rail roko all over the country.

True to its commitment to the divisive ideology as a member of the sangh parivar, and ever loyal to its fraternal political wing the BJP, the BMS tried to confuse and divide the workers nursing illusions to weaken the strike. The BMS, which was involved in preparing the joint charter of demands of the central trade unions when it was part of the joint trade union movement, now finds the demands to be ‘political’. It had no problem in participating in struggles including strikes when the Congress led UPA government was in power. But, with the BJP in power, even when the government is fast carrying forward the anti worker amendment to the labour laws to trample labour rights underfoot, totally ignoring the suggestions of the central trade unions, neglecting the tripartite bodies, BMS strangely finds the government to be ‘positive’ to workers’ demands. It gathered a few breakaway groups of central trade unions and created a platform, opposed the strike and actively campaigned against the strike. But the working class of the country totally rejected its hypocritical manoeuvres. These attempts in fact boomeranged as the magnificent two days’ strike clearly showed the participation of their own ranks in the strike in several states.

What is required now is to take the struggle against the neoliberal policies forward and heighten and intensify it by strengthening the unity of the entire working class and the unity of the working class with the all the other sections of toiling masses.