Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) salutes the working people of India who have risen as one to challenge the Modi government’s anti worker, anti people and anti national policies through the unprecedented general strike and rural bandh on 8th January 2020.
While the industrial workers across sectors all over the country went on strike, the peasants and agricultural workers massively responded to the call of ‘rural bandh’ and organised road and rail blockades.
There was total bandh in Kerala, Tripura, Assam, Bihar, Punjab, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Goa, and several other states. Shops and road transport were closed totally in Tripura defying the warning by BJP goons not to do so. In West Bengal, and in many districts of Jharkhand, Karnataka etc there was bandh like situation.
Workers in private organised sector including the MNCs responded magnificently to the strike call. The strike was total in big industries in Karnataka including Toyota, Volvo buses and Volvo trucks, Bosch, ITC, Vikrant Tyres etc. Most of the industrial clusters in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Jharkhand, etc were closed due to the strike. The strike in Jute and Plantation was massive. The strike was total in many industrial clusters across the country, particularly in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, NCR Delhi, Jharkhand etc.
Strike was total in BHEL plants in Trichy, Ranipet and Jhansi, around 70% in BHEL, Haridwar and 50% in Vizag. Strike was total in Salem Steel and Vizag Steel. Strike was also almost total in petroleum sector installations across the country. Many of the units of Powergrid Corporation also reported massive strike. Ports at Kakinada, Tuticorin, Cochin, Paradip and Mazgaon dock reported almost total strike while in Calcutta port strike was partial.
Electricity distribution and consumption in the country registered a decline due to the participation of the state electricity boards’ employees in a big way in the strike
Road transport in most of the states was off the road with the roads deserted. In West Bengal, most of the buses that ran were empty. 3.5 crore road transport workers participated in the strike all over the country.
Scheme workers across the country, particularly anganwadi employees, midday meal workers and ASHAs participated in the strike en masse. Medical and sales representatives also participated in the strike in total.
Central government and state government employees participated in the strike ignoring the warnings of the governments. Around 13 lakh central government employees in postal, income tax, audit and accounts, etc participated.
Strike in the banking sector was near total while it was total in the insurance sector. Telecom employees also participated in the strike.
In addition, workers in several segments of unorganised sector like construction, brick kiln, village chowkidars, home based workers, domestic workers, autorickshaw drivers etc participated in the strike as also the plantation workers across the country.
Huge demonstrations, rail and road blockades were organised in thousands of places in the country with the participation of hundreds of thousands of people.
The call for ‘rural bandh’ given by the peasants’ and agricultural workers’ organisations was also successful. Across the country peasants participated in the road and rail blockades in huge numbers. Students, youth and women also participated in the demonstrations.
On the whole the strike received massive support of the common people showing the huge anger against the Modi government’s destructive policies. In addition to the 12 points demands the trade unions also opposed the attacks on the democratic rights and the outrageous onslaught basic tenets of the Constitution through CAA, NRC and NPR etc by the Modi government.
CITU extends its heartfelt gratitude to all those who supported the strike and stood in solidarity with the working class and particularly the organisations of farmers, agricultural workers, students , youth and women. It warns the Modi government that it can neglect the huge anger of the people against its policies of selling people’s and nation’s interests to the corporates, domestic and foreign, at its own peril.
The toiling people are rising and they won’t rest till they achieve their demands
Source: Centre of Indian Trade Unions / RedGlobe