Bharat Bandh: Odisha trade unions to join strike

Bhubaneswar: The trade unions in Odisha will join the 15 crore government and private sector workers across the country, who have given ‘Bharat Bandh’ call on Friday against government’s “indifference” towards their demands and effecting “anti-worker” changes in labour laws.

A meeting in this regard was convened in Angul and Rourkela by members of the unions. Sources said, as many as eight trade unions of aluminium major Nalco will join the dawn-to-dusk strike.

“We have been demanding a monthly minimum wage of Rs 18,000 to the workers and recognition to ASHA and Anganwadi workers. The government should accept these as soon as possible,” said Bishnu Mohanty, a CITU leader.

INTUC leader Govind Mishra said eight trade unions of Nalco have supported Friday’s strike.

As many as 10 trade unions including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF will go on a one-day strike bringing banks, factories and other organised sectors to a standstill across the nation.

Essential services such as banking, public transport and telecom are likely to be hit due to the bandh call.

The unions have claimed that this year’s strike will be bigger as the number of striking workers is expected to swell to as much as 18 crore, larger than last year when around 14 crore workers participated.

The CTUs will strike work protesting against what they call the government’s apathy towards their 12-point charter of demands including a monthly minimum wage of Rs 18,000, controlling price rise and assured minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000.