#WorkersStrikeBack: Haryana Workers Gear up for January 8-9 General Strike
Image for representational use only; Image Courtesy : The Indian Express
Workers all over the country are gearing up for what is going to be probably the biggest industrial strike the country has ever seen. All central trade unions, except the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), and All India Trinamool Congress-affiliated Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress (INTTUC), are going to participate in the country-wide general strike on January 8 and 9.
Haryana has been at the centre of various workers’ movements and struggles during the past year. Time and again, voices have been raised against the anti-people and anti-workers’ policies made by both the central and the state government.
Starting from electricity workers to roadways workers, from candidates selected for the post of assistant professors to ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers, the ordinary citizens of the state have protested again and again to make their voices heard.
Alsop Read : Continued Strikes by Haryana Workers : A Reflection of Failed Governance?
Now, workers from all over the state are preparing in full-swing for the general strike on January 8 and 9. Talking to NewsClick, Jai Bhagwan, state secretary of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Haryana, said, “In March 2017, the state government introduced several changes in the labour laws, which have severely affected the workers of the state.” He said that these changes have led to the shutting down of several factories. In a lot of places, the permanent employees have been replaced by contractual workers, for the benefit of the factory-owners.
Bhagwan added, “The labour laws do not apply in the small industries and factories. A lot of these factories are not even registered, and workers here have to work for more than 12 hours a day. These small industries are also very prone to accidents, and since a most of these are not registered, the workers do not receive any compensation even if they lose their lives.”
The abysmal working conditions in the state is what led to several movements and struggles in the recent past. The ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, and mid-day meal workers fought a long-drawn battle and finally emerged victorious with the government being forced to accept their demands. The rural watchmen and construction workers also led a struggle and forced the government into accepting their demands.
Also Read: Haryana Roadways’ Workers’ Strike: ‘Largest Solidarity of Workers against Privatisation’
In preparation for the general strike, several conventions have been held at both district and state levels. A number of meetings were held by the trade unions in the industrial belts of the state, including Gurugram, Faridabad, Rewari, and Sonepat. The unions have notified the factory managements about the strike.
Bhagwan said, “Lakhs and lakhs of leaflets are being delivered all over the state. The unorganised sector is also preparing for the strike. General meetings are being held in several districts, in villages, and we are seeing massive participation from the people.”
He said that appeals have been made to all workers from both organised and unorganised sector, and the response has been very positive. “From the response, we can say that this strike is going to break all records in terms of participation from the workers,” he added.
Read More: #WorkersStrikeBack: Agri Unions, Unorganised Sector Workers in West Bengal to Join Strike in Big Way
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