More than 15 crores workers participated in the All India General Strike held on Sept 2nd, 2015, in India, directly, alongside many more civilians participating in it indirectly. It was called by the united platform of trade unions consisting of 10 major central trade unions in the country. It has to be noted that the pro-corporate policies of the BJP lead NDA government agitated even that section of workers outside of the Left-affiliated unions. The issues raised by the trade unions are not only ones that are affecting the workers, but also every common man in the country: the rising prices of food grains for instance, as those producing food grains are facing a severe crisis.
The trade unions have given 12-point charter of demands in addition to the withdrawal of the Land Acquisition amendment ordinance. Some of the key issues raised by the workers are: urgent measures on controlling price-rise, upholding labour laws, ensuring minimum wages, stoppage of disinvestment, stoppage of contractual work in permanent perennial work, and some more.
Many parts of the country stood still on the day of strike. Most of the services, except the railways, were affected. Bank, transport, cement, textiles, insurance, post office, civil aviation and gas-oil supply were the sectors that were hit most severely by the strike. A majority of the nationalised bank employees and more than half of the private bank staffs joined the nation-wide strike against the proposed amendments to various labour legislations proposed by the government. The workers from both the organised and unorganised sectors were in the forefront of this strike. The unprecedented support stemmed not only from the workers but various sections of the society. This reveals a strong urge for the changing of current economic policies which have pushed the workers and peasants into a tremendous crisis. This countrywide general strike is an indication to the central government that there is an increasing strength of the workers struggles as compared to the past. It also clearly shows that the present government and their policies do not favor the workers. If the government continues with this policy of favoring corporate, like diluting the labor laws and curtailing workers' rights, we will see more workers coming forward in the future.
In Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, all state-run public buses remained off the roads. Shops and banks too were shut. The strike was particularly effective in major cities like Indore, Jabalpur and Ujjain. The strike also evoked wide response in Gujarat as banks, Life Insurance Corporation and other establishments remained closed in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, and other cities and towns. Around 2,000 state roadways buses went off the road in Himachal Pradesh. More than 20 trade unions in Kashmir set out on a 24-hour strike to protest. The work remained affected in central government public undertakings. Operations at Mumbai Port Trust were completely stopped due to the national strike but cargo handling and the transport services in Mumbai remained unaffected. Some clashes were reported in some of the places in West Bengal. Bus services in UP too were hit. Life was affected in several parts of Odisha and Assam. Commuters and office goers were stranded on the city roads in Delhi as a large section of auto-rickshaws and taxis were on strike.