The 20th July industrial strike action organized by all the Trade Unions of Delhi concluded successfully. The strike action was called by 11 trade unions and several workers’ organisations. Lakhs of workers participated in this across several industries and services.
A view of meeting of trade unions and workers' organisations with Delhi Labour Minister
On 9th August, Delhi’s Labour Minister called for a meeting with the representatives of the 11 trade unions. The organisations present in the delegation were AITUC, CITU, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, BMS, SEWA, All India Construction Workers Council, AICTU, LPF, UTUC, Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam, Delhi Shramik Sangathan, South Delhi Association, Delhi Labour Karigar Sangathan and ICTU, etc.
All the representatives of the unions presented once again, the issues concerning the workers and on which they have been agitating continuously, to the Labour Minister. The union representatives emphasized that despite repeated submissions on these issues, the Delhi government has not taken any specific steps to address the same. Further, the government has not made any attempt to meet with and consult the unions’ representatives. The trade unions severely criticized the government on the issue of ensuring payment of minimum wages to the nearly 55 lakh workers of Delhi.
It is to be noted that the Delhi High Court had cancelled the government’s decision to implement Minimum Wages. The Court had offered some excuses for this ruling – that representatives of the capitalists’ organisations like FICCI, ASSOCHAM and CII had not been included in the committee, that the wage level is much higher than several other states, and that it was not decided according to Constitutional provisions.
The representatives of the workers’ organisations expressed their anger at the failure of the Delhi government to do anything about ensuring the fulfillment of workers’ rights. They pointed out that neither did the government involve all the unions nor did it call a meeting of the wage board in the context of the High Court case.
The meeting decided that the Delhi government,
- Will implement the Minimum Wages being implemented by the Central government,
- The government will submit an application to the Supreme Court,
- The Delhi Labour Minister would meet with all the Trade Unions again on 21st August to discuss other demands of the workers.
Among the representatives of the workers’ organisations present at the meeting were Dhirendra Sharma of AITUC, Santosh Kumar of Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Krishipal of INTUC, Bhati of BMS, Harbhajan Singh SIndhu of HMS, Anurag Saxena of CITU, Manager Chaurasia of AIUTUC, Ramesh of TUCC, Latha from SEWA, Gautam of the All India Construction Workers Council, Jawahar from LPF, Manvendra from UTUC, Subhash Bhatnagar from Nirmal Workers Panchayat Sangam, Ramendra from Delhi Shramik Sangathan, Rajvir from Delhi Labour Karigar Sangathan and Uday Narayan from ICTU.