NEW DELHI: Extending their support to the farmers’ ongoing protest against the three controversial farm laws, ten central trade unions (CTUs) have decided to hold a day-long nationwide protest on Saturday (June 26, 2021).
While the trade unions have expressed solidarity with the farmers and backed their demand to repeal the three controversial farm laws, they are also demanding the Centre to change the labour codes and modify the income transfer scheme for the poor.
Ten central unions including All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), will participate in tomorrow’s protest.
In a joint memorandum, the ten central trade unions said that they will continue to fight for better jobs, better salaries, a better work environment and the repeal of three farm laws, which the farmers have been demanding for nearly seven months since their agitation began on 26 June.
The members of the trade unions will hold sit-ins at Raj Bhavans in various states in addition to protests in all districts and tehsils all over India. However, the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) will not participate in the protest. For the last few years, BMS has stayed away from national strikes and protests organised by central trade unions.
What are the key demands of the CTUs?
-Withdrawal of four labour codes
-Withdrawal of the three farm laws and the Electricity (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021
-Withdrawal of income transfer scheme for poor that will offer Rs 7,500 per month to every non-income taxpaying family.
-Universal free vaccination within a specific time frame
-Rs 5 million insurance to all frontline workers including ASHA, Anganwadi employees, sanitation workers
-Compensation to the families of the workers who died due to Covid 19
-Non-privatisation of PSUs
-Treating PSU employees as frontline staff and adequate compensation for them
-Job security, better salaries and work environment
Seven months of farmers’ protest on June 26
Meanwhile, on the completion of seven months of the ongoing farmers` agitation, Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) has sought President Ram Nath Kovind`s intervention to `Save Agriculture and Save Democracy` and in repealing of the three “anti-farm” laws.
A large number of farmers are expected to join protesters at Delhi’s border points on June 26 to mark seven months of their agitation against the three agri laws enacted last year. Under the aegis of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), farmers will gather at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur border points on June 26 and they will observe it as ‘Save Agriculture, Save Democracy Day’.
“Preparations are underway for marking June 26 as ‘Save Agriculture, Save Democracy Day’ all over the country,” said the umbrella body of 40 farmer unions which is spearheading the stir against the central laws enacted in September last year.
Farmers have been camping at Delhi’s borders since November demanding that the legislations be rolled back, and a new law made to guarantee minimum support price for crops. Framers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers’ (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.
However, the central government has maintained the three farm laws are pro-farmer.