Two day “strike” has been taking place all over India by 11 trade unions participating in protests. Banks and businesses have been closed. Workers want their rights, and they want to make amendment to labour laws.In industrial cities like Noida, protests became violent. About 70 persons were arrested. Few factories were vandalised and looted. This is a national loss. Such mob behaviour was cause by hooligans who had come from outside.
Workers have been enduring pain inflicted by their bosses—long hours of work, difficult demanding workload, less pay, and gruelling conditions. Government’s economic policies, and labour laws and inability to control inflation were the reasons for the protests. While work has increased, pay has not increased.Their basic living condition is poor and on top of that the have debts. Those on daily wages would not get their income for these two days; they have to pay for food bill with their daily wages. It is a loss to them and their families who depend on these wages.
Trade unions’ demands are same as usual. They want employment for those unemployed, they want better enforcement of labour laws, they want social security, they want to stop contractual labour, they do not want ceilings on bonuses, they want more benefits of employee funds, they want assured pension and they want that all trade unions be registered. All these welfare schemes are possible with higher growth rate, and that is what government is trying to achieve. The legislation like Minimum wages Act, Factories Act (amended in 1987) and Industrial Disputes Act have to be modified. All workers must come under the Minimum wages, casualization of labour is a big problem. And minimum wages must be revised.Any dispute between the management and the workers must be resolved immediately, otherwise these protests will come up endlessly. How to convince the protesting people that we too want higher economic growth? Future is depends on how we resolve conflicts between the poor workers of India and the owners of factories/businesses.We must realize that workers are the central part of any industry and that their welfare is the welfare of the industry. In eagerness to please the corporates, tax concessions are made.In a hope that industrialists will invest their profits and make more industries. But they just want to make more and more profits and ignore the rising needs of the workers whom they had employed to make big profits.