NASHIK: The nationwide strike, called by various trade unions, workers, farmers, and transporters, in protest against the BJP-led NDA government’s economic policies, received a good response in Nashik district on Thursday. Various trade unions and employees' unions staged protests at Gold Club ground to condemn the government’s economic policies.
National vice president, Communist Party of India Dr. D L Karad on the occasion slammed the government’s economic policies. He said, “This government is working in favour of Adani and Ambani. Foreign Direct Investment has been allowed in Life Corporation of India and defence sector. Workers lost their jobs, but the profit of capitalists has increased. Contractual method is being used to recruit new people. There is no job security. As laws are in favour of owners, there is a need to oppose them. Everyone should come forward to press for a change of laws".
The central government had taken advantage of the crisis created due to Covid-19 in the country to repeal all existing labour laws and passed four new labour codes. At the same time, legislation has been enacted that would benefit large corporates, and allow them to black market food and essential commodities, said Maharashtra INTUC president and former MLA Jaiprakash Chhajed.
During the lockdown period, crores of workers and small and medium enterprises were on the verge of bankruptcy. In contrast, the value of the country’s largest corporates has increased. Workers unitedly need to fight to protect their rights, he added. Pay Rs 21,000 minimum to ASHA workers, Gat Pravartak, Anganwadi workers, workers working under nutritious diet scheme, Gram Rojgar Sevak and contractual workers.
Make old pension applicable for government employees and to recruit vacant posts, demanded regional secretary, AITUC Raju Desale. Mohan Deshpande, on the occasion, demanded to cancel the privatization of Life Insurance Corporation of India, scrap electricity bill act 2020, and provide social security to unorganized sector workers. The workers in the Nashik district staged a protest at the tehsil and Panchayat Samit offices. Bank employees also took part in the protest.
Trade unions like Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Co-ordination Centre (TUCC) and Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), MSRTC workers union, LIC workers union, Zilla Parishad employees union, secondary teacher union, nurses union, worker employees union, state employees central union, Nashik workers union, and Bharatiya Kamgar Sena took part in the protest.
The demands of the joint platform include cash transfer of Rs 7,500 per month for all non-income taxpaying families and 10 kilograms of free ration to every needy person per month. The unions also demanded expansion of MGNREGA, the rural employment guarantee scheme, to provide 200 days' work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages and also an extension of the employment guarantee to urban areas.
Other demands of the unions include ‘pension to all’, scrapping NPS (National Pension System), and restoration of earlier pension with improvement in EPS-95 (Employees’ Pension Scheme-1995 run by retirement fund body EPFO).