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Tens of Millions to Join All-India One-Day Strike on Wednesday

NEW DELHI – Tens, if not hundreds, of millions of workers and youth will participate in tomorrow’s India-wide one-day general strike.
The strike call was issued on September 30, 2019 by an alliance of the country’s principal trade union federations to protest the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s big business measures—social spending cuts, privatization, the promotion of precarious contract-labor jobs, the gutting of workplace and environmental regulations and further massive corporate tax cuts.
In the intervening three months, the BJP government has accelerated it class war offensive, turn to authoritarian methods of rule, promotion of Hindu supremacism and integration of India into Washington’s military-strategic offensive against China.
The BJP government has tabled legislation to “streamline” and “modernize” India’s labor laws into four new labor codes.
Among other changes, these would empower companies to employ workers on fire-at-will contracts, place new restrictions on the right to strike and establish workplace organizations and gut India’s already woefully lax and inadequate system of factory inspections.
Consumer demand, industrial production, and exports are all faltering. According to the Centre of Monitoring the Indian Economy, there were 73 million jobless in India in December and the jobless rate of 7.7 percent was close to a 45-year high.
Ten central labor federations and various independent unions, which together represent large sections of workers, from coal miners and port workers to bank employees, will participate in Wednesday’s strike.
The one-day protest strike is being led by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and the All India Trades Union Congress (AITUC), the labor affiliates of the twin Stalinist parliamentary parties, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM and the Communist Party of India (CPI).
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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