New Delhi: Ten central trade unions on Friday held protests across the country to oppose suspension and tweaking of labour laws by states.
The hunger strike, demonstrations and processions were observed by workers at several places to press for the withdrawal of “draconian changes” in labour laws, a joint statement by the trade unions said.
Several other trade unions active at national and state level also joined the call of a nationwide protest by central unions, it said.
A joint petition by the central trade unions (CTUs) was submitted to the Prime Minister via email.
The petition included the demands such as immediate relief to stranded workers for ferrying them safely to their homes, food to be made available to all, ensure wages to all for entire lockdown period and cash transfer of Rs 7,500 to non-income tax paying households, including unorganized labour force for at least three months to June.
The employees and workers from independent federations and associations such as banks, insurance, defence, telecom, central and state government employees etc. organised solidarity actions by wearing black badges in some cases and lunch hour meetings in other establishments and some participating in the action programmes directly.
The unions of oil sector in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were also in protest action, the statement said.
Coal unions in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telengana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra were in protest action.
The hunger strike was resorted to in several states at some selected spots such as in Delhi, Karnataka, Assam, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh, it added.
In Tamil Nadu, protests were organized at 10,000 places with more than 2 lakh people. The programmes in Kerala were organised at 5,000 places with the participation of more than 1 lakh persons, it claimed.
In Maharashtra, the programmes could be organized in about 36 districts. In Haryana and Punjab the programmes were held in almost all districts and memorandum submitted to DC offices in several of them.
In Odisha also, the programmes were organised in all the districts as well as in the industrial ares of Rourkela, Sambalpur, Paradeep or in NCL areas. Protests in major towns and industrial areas of other states were organised.
In Delhi, some of the national leadership of the central trade unions participated in the hunger strike at Gandhi Samadhi, Rajghat.
Some of the protesting leaders were arrested and taken to Rajendra Nagar police station.