Bharat Bandh on 28 and 29 March 2022: What is Open, What is Closed?
New Delhi, Mar 26: A joint forum of central trade unions have given a call for a nationwide strike on March 28 and 29. However, day-to-day activities are unlikely to be hit.
The March 22 statement by the forum said that roadways, transport workers and electricity workers have decided to join the strike in spite of the impending threat of ESMA (Haryana and Chandigarh, respectively).
The central trade unions that are members of this joint forum are Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC), All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) and United Trade Union Congress (UTUC).
The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh has decided not to participate in the strike.
Hotels to Be Open
As of now, hotel associations have not spoken about their stand on the issue. It looks like restaurants will function like normal in most parts of the country.
Will Bus and Train Services be Hit?
The forum has said that transport workers have extended the support. However, the online booking of tickets for buses and trains are still on. So, transportation service is unlikely to be affected. Any development in this regard will be updated here.
Opposing the Centre's move to privatise public sector bans and the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021, the bank unions have extended their support to the bandh. The strike notices have been given by unions in the sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, insurance among others, it also stated.
Bengal Government Order
The West Bengal government asked all its employees to report for duty during the 48-hour nationwide strike on March 28 and 29, failing which they will be issued show-cause notices. The TMC dispensation, which has been opposed to bandhs as its official policy, said that no casual leave will be granted to employees except in emergency situations such as illness or death in the family.
Several trade unions, including those of the Left Front and the Congress but barring the ones belonging to the BJP and the TMC, have called for a two-day nationwide strike against the Centre's economic policies.
In a notification issued from state secretariat Nabanna, Principal Secretary Manoj Pant said that any employee remaining absent for two days or either of the days without permission shall be asked for an explanation.
"In view of call given by different trade unions and others for a 48-hour nationwide strike on 28th and 29th March, 2022, it has been decided that all state government offices shall remain open and all the employees shall report for duty on those days.
"It has been decided that no casual leave or any other leave for absence either in the first half or in the second half or for the whole day shall be granted to any employee on the above-mentioned dates," the notification said.
It said that the absence of employees on the two days shall be treated as 'dies-non' and no salary will be admissible unless covered by grounds of hospitalisation, bereavement in family, several illness, or staffers on maternity, child care, medical or earned leave before March 25.
"All Heads of Offices/Controlling Authorities concerned will issue Show-Cause notice to the employee(s) concerned, who will remain absent on March 28, 2022 and March 29, 2022 or on any of these 2 (two) dates, asking him/her to explain why action would not be taken against him/her for such unauthorised absence.
The unions in railways and defence sector would be making mass mobilization in support of the strike at several hundreds of spots, a joint forum of central trade unions.
The meeting took note of the fact that emboldened by the results of the recently-held state elections, the BJP Government at centre has intensified the attacks on the working people, reducing the interest rate on EPF accumulations to 8.1 per cent from 8.5 per cent, sudden hike in petrol, LPG, kerosene, CNG etc., taking steps to implement their program of monetization (PSU land bundles) but are held back only because of the worsening condition of inflation and crashing share markets.
Unions have also sent out strike notices in sectors such as coal, steel, oil, telecom, postal, income tax, copper, banks, and insurance, added the statement. It further said that unions in the railway and defense sectors are planning to mobilise mass support for a strike at hundreds of locations.
Unions at state levels were asked to join the strike to oppose the anti-labour policies of the Central Government, an example of which is the four labour codes.
Kerala HC Restrains 5 Unions in BPCL, Kochi, from Participating in Strike
Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court on Friday restrained five trade unions in the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Kochi, from participating in the nationwide strike on March 28 and 29 called by a joint forum of trade unions.
Considering a plea filed by the BPCL challenging the trade unions in the company joining the protest, Justice Amit Rawal issued an interim order restraining the unions from going on strike according to their call from 7 am on March 28 to 7 am on March 30.
In his plea, BPCL Chief General Manager in-charge (HR) Kurian P Alappatt had said that under the provisions of Section 22 of the Industrial disputes Act, 1947, strikes and lock-outs in respect of a public utility service are prohibited during the pendency of any conciliation proceedings.