India — right to strike nation-wide protest
The central trade union body CITU has called for an all India protest action on August 13. The actions are in response to a Supreme Court judgement on August 6, banning the right to strike. The decision was made in relation to Tamilnadu (TN) government employees and teachers. CITU secretariat called upon all the trade unions irrespective of affiliations to organise protest demonstrations in all the workplaces to assert their determination and resolve to defend the right to strike. The Delhi State Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) said it was an authoritarian order banning strikes by Central Government Employees and could have wider ramifications if not fought against. The Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers said that "The Supreme Court ruling yesterday that the government employees have no fundamental legal or moral or equitable right to go on strike even for a just cause is to put it mildly unfortunate. It is all the more so because the said opinion was made while hearing a batch of petitions challenging the dismissal of 170,000 Tamilnadu state government employees, without even affording them an opportunity of being heard, the high principles of natural justice any civilized society adheres to. "The court's advice that the government employees in a democratic welfare state should only resort to the machinery provided under different statutory provisions for redressal of grievances, viewed from the fact that the TN state employees have no such machinery for collective negotiation and settlement "is beyond one's comprehension" "It is really said that the apex court failed to appreciate the fact that the unilateral withdrawal of the pensionary benefits, the social security measure introduced decades back of the government employees was the root cause for agitation. The refusal to honour the commitment made earlier, and the other unprecedented repressive measures accentuated the flow of anger, anguish and discontent amongst the rank and file of the employees. "It is the governments' economic policies (both of the center and the states) of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation and the consequent pauperisation of the workers and poor people that have triggered widespread agitations and strikes throughout the country, be it in the government sector, public sector or private sector or the people at large. The attempt to pitch the common people against the workers through malicious propaganda of an imagined clash of interest will not succeed."