The National Open Mass Convention of workers, that was held on 30th September 2019 in New Delhi, gave the call for an All India general strike on 8th January 2020. Trade Unions and workers’ organisations across the country are mobilising their forces in response to this call. The working class and large sections of working people have been up in arms right through 2019 in defence of their rights and against the attacks on their right to organize, to security of livelihood, to quality public education and health. The move of the bourgeoisie to privatize public sector units and sell off national wealth for a song to the biggest Indian and foreign monopolies is being militantly resisted.
2019: A year of escalation of struggles of working class
The Indian monopoly capitalists, who have grown rich enough to be counted among the global billionaires, have been ruthlessly squeezing the workers. They are greatly intensifying the exploitation of the workers – retrenching workers in thousands, pushing them further into poverty and economic deprivation and making amendments to labour laws in order to deprive workers of rights that they have won through long years of struggle.
The working class is preparing to intensify its agitation with the general strike of 8th January 2020. The declaration issued by the workers’ Convention demanded a National Minimum Wage of Rs. 21,000 per month and Rs. 10,000 per month minimum pension for all. It demanded an effective Employment Guarantee Act to cover all rural and urban households, implementation of MNREGA with increased number of days and budget allocation and social security for workers. It demanded an immediate halt to the privatisation of public sector enterprises, education and health and a halt to foreign direct investment in strategic sectors. It demanded that the state guarantee public procurement of agricultural produce at a remunerative price as per the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, waive the loans of the peasantry and provide them institutional credit. It demanded a universal public distribution system. It demanded permanency of employment, worker status for all scheme workers, abolition of all forms of contract labour and regularization of contract workers, equal pay and benefits for equal work, etc.