India enters second day of a two-day nationwide general strike

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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Protest led by Centre of Indian Trade Unions in Kerala on 28 March, 2022.
Image: Centre of Indian Trade Unions.

Yesterday, India entered the second day of a two-day nationwide general strike organised by a forum of central trade unions along with numerous other regional trade unions. Hundreds of protestors were seen with red flags in Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, a place frequently used for protests.

The protestors claimed that the economic policies under the current Indian government led by Narendra Modi were hurting the unorganised sector of the country. Swadesh Dev Roye, a top official of Centre of Indian Trade Unions in a statement said that the Modi government "wants to hide its economic criminality under the garb of communalism and religion".

The protestors demanded job security in the unorganised sector, increased wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and scrapping of the National Monetisation Pipeline which would give employers more freedom in deciding working hours and wages.

Some protestors were also demanding the halt of plans to privatise two public sector banks. The Modi government has been privatising many public sector institutions to stimulate economic growth in the country.

Amarjeet Kaur, general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress reported that over 20 crore (200 million) protestors had participated on the first day. Banks, markets, and railway services were affected.

India saw a major setback to its economy in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment rate in the country was reported to be eight percent in December last year.


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