Trade unions threaten to intensify stir
New Delhi: A day after the country-wide strike, trade unions Wednesday threatened to intensify their agitation if the government fails to meet workers' demands.
They also sought a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to thrash out the long pending issues concerning labour laws even as the bandh evoked mixed response from the states.
"We will wait for government's reaction before we move forward and we hope government will take positive steps (to fulfill the demands)," Congress-affiliated INTUC president G Sanjeeva Reddy, flanked by other union leaders, told reporters.
Eleven major trade unions had called a day-long general strike yesterday demanding parity between contractual and regular workers, fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs 10,000 per month and assured pension for all among others.
Holding that even the common man supported the strike, Reddy said their agitation was aimed at helping the workers against "anti-labour" policies of the government and not to politicise issues.
"The entire trade union movement will retaliate in a befitting way if the government and the management takes recourse to vindictive and repressive measures," a joint- statement issued by the unions said.
Describing the strike as an "unprecedented success", AITUC general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said even aanganwadi, domestic workers, mid-day meal workers etc participated in the strike.
The unions said hundreds of workers were arrested from various states, with 200 arrests being reported from Delhi and 2,000 from Jammu and Kashmir. They said a similar number was arrested in West Bengal where the government was opposing the strike call.