Tens of millions of Indian workers went into the streets today to challenge abysmal labor conditions. The 24-hour strike is a broad effort of trade unions associated with various parties and ideologies. Their demands include social security benefits, a minimum wage, permanent jobs for contract workers, and an end to rampant inflation.
Though the strike includes 11 different unions–some aligned with reactionary parties like Congress and the BJP–at least one reactionary leader is not too pleased with the action. Mamata Banerjee, the anti-Maoist chief minister of West Bengal has opposed the strike. We will offer more analysis as the situation becomes clearer.
The following article appeared at Al Jazeera.
Millions of Indian workers strike for rights
One-day walkout hits transport, banks and post offices, as unions seek better rights and protest over rising prices.
28 Feb 2012
Millions of workers in India are staging a 24-hour strike to demand improved rights for employees and to protest over rising prices.
Tuesday’s strike, one of the biggest in recent times, is being backed by all 11 major trade unions in the country, including the left affiliated All India Trade Union Congress [AITUC] and Indian National Trade Union Congress [INTUC] linked to ruling Congress party, local television station NDTV said.
In the capital, New Delhi, and the financial hub, Mumbai, the effect of the strike was minimal. Banks and insurance offices were closed but buses and taxis plied the streets and shops were open for business. Read the rest of this entry »