Representational image: Image credit: CITU

Normal life across India is likely to come to a grinding halt as 10 trade union organizations have called for Bharat Bandh on January 8.

More than 20 crore workers of Central and state government employees, bank employees, teachers and workers of railways will participate in the strike.

Banks, government offices and educational institutions will remain closed on the day and the railway services will also be affected.

Workers will stay away from work to protest against what they allege are anti-labour policies of the Narendra Modi government and to press for their demands.

The trade unions which will take part in the strike include:

All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC),

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU),

All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC),

Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS),

Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA),

All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU),

Labour Progressive Federation (LPF),

United Trade Union Congress (UTUC),

Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and

Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC).

Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) confirmed that six bank unions will participate in the strike and this will affect the ATMs and branch services.

However, online transactions will not be affected.

Demands of the trade unions:

The main demand of the trade unions is that the government drop the proposed labour reforms.

“There are objections to the amendments in the labour law, and that these should be scrapped,” said Maitreyi Krishnan, a lawyer working with one of the unions.

Unions are also demanding for the hike in the minimum wage to Rs 21,000-Rs 24,000 per month.

One of their demands also includes stopping the privatisation of public sector undertakings.

The unions are also demanding the government to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

The bank workers are specifically striking for a raise in their wages and against bank mergers and bank reforms.

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