On Monday, March 28, a nationwide two-day strike began in India, organized by the country’s ten central labor unions. It was attended by 200 million workers, farmers and concerned citizens, which constitutes about a quarter of the working population. People took to the streets of cities in the industrial and extractive regions of the country, dissatisfied with the antipeople government policies, people took to the streets of cities in industrial and resource-producing areas of the country. In some cities, protesters managed to block roads and railways.

Workers demands:

  • Scrap the new labor law that allows contract work, gives employers greater leeway in setting wages and increases working hours
  • Abolish any form of privatization of state-owned companies (reduction of the state’s share from 51% to 26%)
  • Fair income distribution
  • Wage increase in accordance with Mahatma Gandhi’s Rural Employment Guarantee Act
  • Universal social security for workers in the so-called informal sector or contract workers

«They are selling railways, airports, ports, oil industry and gas refineries and our power transmission sector, there is nothing left […] Whatever our forefathers have built in this country is being now sold to big corporate and private entrepreneurs» - said Anurag Saxena, a top official with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, which has over six million members across the country.

The strike affected the work of the post office, public transport, the telecommunications industry, enterprises operating in the fields of energy, oil, and metallurgy. It was also supported by bank employees unions, auto rickshaw unions and public transport workers unions.

The strike was also attended by the two IT unions: KITU and AIITEU. Small salaries or low living standards were not the main reasons that forced them to strike. The minimum wage for the IT worker in India approaches the Russian one. It’s their understanding that the only thing that can improve the situation in the country is the trade union movement.