Srinagar: Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government of being "pro-corporate", Jammu and Kashmir chapter of Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) on Wednesday asked working class to join the one-day nation-wide strike next month to protest against government's unilateral labour reforms.
"All sections of working class and employees are appealed to observe complete strike called by trade unions on September 2 in protest against the anti-people policies of the central government," State CITU president and senior CPI(M) leader MY Tarigami told reporters here.
Criticising the policies of the centre, he alleged that the Modi government was in a hurry to settle his debt of the corporate friends who supported his election campaign through finances.
"The corporates are being benefited by tax exemptions of Rs 4 to 5 lakh crores as 'revenue foregone' year after year in addition to another Rs 4 to 5 lakh crores uncollected tax claims every year."
"For whom the government in Delhi works, requires no rocket science to understand," Tarigami said claiming that "no initiative has been taken so far to provide social security benefits to unorganised work force".
He said the frequent amendments to labour laws have so far armed the employers further and this continuing process of fiddling with the rights of workers have deprived the working class who need coordinated efforts and a united resistance to safeguard their interests.
"The policies of globalisation pursued by the Modi government are drastically affecting the work force especially working in the unorganised sector across the country virtually reducing them to the status of bonded labour," he said.
On May 26, 11 central trade unions, including BJP-backed BMS, had called for a one-day nation-wide general strike on September 2 to protest against government's unilateral labour reforms.
Tarigami said several schemes were announced by the Centre ostensibly for the unorganised sector workers which hardly benefit them.
"Social security benefits including gratuity, pension, provident fund, medical facilities should have been provided to all workers who act as the backbone of all centrally supported schemes," he said.
He said it was more than six years since the Unorganised Workers Act has been enacted in 2008, not a single social security scheme has been formulated under this act till date.
"Most of the existing social welfare schemes to the unorganised workers are limited to only those below the poverty line, which is so ridiculously low that more than 90 percent of the unorganised workers are left out of the purview of these schemes," he said.
He accused Modi government of adopting a "deceptive ploy" of announcement of social security schemes just to hoodwink the unorganised sector of working class in the country.
"These social security schemes are all self contributory without any financial support from the central government," he said.
Lashing out at PDP-led government in the state for its failure to provide employment to educated youth and addressing the genuine demands of its work force, Tarigami said "the government has been adopting a policy of force and browbeating against them instead of trying to solve their problems."
"Use of batons, water cannons and tear smoke shells against these hapless casual labourers has become a norm which needs to be changed immediately," he said.
Similarly, he said the miserable condition of handicrafts sector and the plight of thousands of artisans has so far gone unnoticed by the successive governments in the state.
Tarigami appealed all the workforce of the state to unite on a single platform and intensify the struggle against the "anti-workers policies" of the state.