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Millions of workers strike in India

03.09.2015

Millions of workers from all sectors joined India’s largest strike on 2 September. Demonstrators were protesting against proposed labour reforms which will in practice make it easier to fire workers.

The decision to call for a nation-wide strike was taken at a National Convention of Workers called by the national trade union centres in May.

Rallies were held all over India, seeing millions of workers on the streets after trade union talks with the government broke down.

The trade unions had presented a charter of 12 demands, including a strong stance against the anti-worker proposed amendments to labour laws, a new minimum wage, the end to contract labour in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for similar work, strict enforcement of all basic labour laws, universal social security cover for all workers, compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting applications, as well as immediate ratification of ILO Convention 87 and 98.

Assistant general secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, Fernando Lopes, participated in a mass meeting of workers at Faridabad in support of the strike. He also attended the meetings and mass rallies in Odisha and Jharkhand to express solidarity.

IndustriALL applauds the unified action and stands together with the workers of India. The strike will not only determine the future of Indian working class, but also will have a wide impact on the other part of the world

Solidarity messages were sent by several affiliates of IndustriALL including Pakistan and the United States. Benjamin Davis from the United Steelworkers, USA also participated in the mass meeting.  Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of ITUC expressed her solidarity, stating the ITUC and its affiliates all over the world will continue to support Indian workers in their every struggle to end the anti- labour reforms in India.