Morning Star | January 07, 2019
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves 10 Downing Street, London, in April 2018
MILLIONS are set to walk out across India tomorrow as a two-day national strike begins against the neoliberal policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing regime.
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (Citu) general secretary Tapan Sen said: “Public-sector employees, unorganised sector workers, port and dock workers and bank and insurance employees are going to observe the nationwide protest against the growing economic crisis, price rises and acute unemployment.”
Farmers and agricultural workers promised to block roads across the country, bringing India to a standstill amid growing anger over poverty and rising prices.
Citu has accused the government of anti-worker policies, including the privatisation of state services, and warned the government against pursuing “two mega defence deals for F-16 fighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin Corporation and the purchase of naval frigates from Russia.”
They said the primary aim of their 12-point charter of demands is to revive India’s flagging economy and uphold the rights of working-class people, which they claim is being eroded by amendments to legislation designed “to impose conditions of slavery on the working people and totally abrogate trade union rights.”
The World Federation of Trade Unions, which represents more than 95 million workers in 130 countries, sent a message of international support and solidarity to those taking action tomorrow.
In a statement it praised the Indian working class for fighting the “neoliberal policy of Mr Modi’s government, which is in line with World Trade Organisation norms and worsening living and working conditions.
“The WFTU supports the fair demands of the declared strike, given that the class-oriented struggle for a dignified life and work is the only way out from the capitalist barbarity.”