AITUC rejects PM's appeal to call off stir
New Delhi: AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta on Sunday rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal to call off the two-day nationwide strike of central trade unions from February 20 saying there could be no consideration without settlement of our demands by the government.
Dasgupta at the same time made it clear that the trade unions have no reservation to the offer of talks made by the Prime Minister in order to arrive at some course of action that is acceptable both to the Trade Unions and the Government.
"There is no question of calling off the strike. Our position is very clear that there cannot be any consideration without settlement of our demands by the government. We want a settlement from Government, not an assurance," Dasgupta told PTI.
His remarks came soon after the Prime Minister made a formal appeal to the protesting central Trade Unions to withdraw their strike saying it would lead loss to the country's economy and cause inconvenience to people.
Protesting against Government's "inaction" on price rise and alleged violation of labour laws, 11 central trade unions and workers' federation have called for a two-day nationwide strike starting from February 20.
While issuing the appeal to the Unions to withdraw their strike call, the Prime Minister also said that he has requested his senior Cabinet colleagues A K Antony, Sharad Pawar, P Chidambaram and Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge to hold discussions with them.
"I am confident that these discussions would result in a course of action that is acceptable both to the Trade Unions and the Government," Singh said.
Dasgupta, however, questioned why the Prime Minister did it so late. "Definitely we will talk to the government tomorrow, but before that we will have our own meeting where all the Unions will give their point of views. We know that the Prime Minister has asked his Ministers to meet us but we want to know why has he done it so late?
"The only thing I want to say in response to the PM's appeal is that the strike is on and there is no question of calling it off," the AITUC General Secretary said.