Srinagar, November 26: As part of nation-wide protests against the anti-worker destructive policies of the BJP government, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) held protests across Jammu and Kashmir today.
The protests were held in Srinagar, Jammu, District Headquarters Kulgam, Anantnag, Bramulla, Kupwara, Kathua and other work places while maintaining social distancing norms. The protesters condemned the BJP government’s attacks on the basic workplace, democratic and constitutional rights of the workers and the people of the country.
The charter of demands included cash transfer of Rs 7500 per month for all non-income tax paying families, 10 kg free ration per person per month to all needy, expansion of MGNREGA to provide 200 days’ work in a year in rural areas at enhanced wages, stopping privatisation, massive outsourcing, casualisation and contraturisations in Govt./PSUs, formulation of immediate wage and regularisation policies for all temporary workers like Casual, contract, Aaganwadi, ASHA and fixing the minimum wage not less than Rs 18000/pm till regularization and ensuring full democratic and Trade Union rights, revoking of decision to freeze the DA for Govt. employees and pensioners and filling all vacant posts in government departments.
The protesters urged the government to withdraw all anti-farmer laws and anti-worker labour codes and stop privatisation of the public sector including the financial sector and stop corporatisation of government-run manufacturing and service entities like railways, ordinance factories, ports etc. They also stressed in their demand to withdraw the draconian circular on forced premature retirement of government and PSU employees after 22 years of service.
Besides, they demanded scrapping NPS (National Pension System) and restoration of earlier pension with improvement in EPS-95 (Employees’ Pension Scheme-1995 run by retirement fund body EPFO).
The unemployment rate which had been the worst in 45 years in 2019 is rising with a speed never seen before. The government is totally in denial mode rather twisting the facts to paint a picture of everything being normal and that the economy is reviving at full scale.
The protesters said that the BJP government was resorting to violations of the constitution and parliamentary norms to achieve its twin objectives of carrying forward neoliberalism and fulfilling the RSS project of establishing ‘Hindu Rashtra’. It has the support and blessings of the big corporates, domestic as well as foreign, as it suits them well. The neoliberal agenda is for their profit maximisation and amassing of wealth, while the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ project of RSS divides society, disrupts unity and weakens united struggles against neoliberal policies through communal polarisation.
It is widely acknowledged that inequalities have gained pace under the Modi led BJP regime with inequalities in the country rising to higher levels. Even during the lockdown, when the entire production came to a halt, GDP registered negative growth, and millions of working people lost their jobs and incomes, a few corporate cronies of this BJP government saw their incomes and wealth soar to new heights.