Hundreds of millions of Indian workers are joining today the 5th national strike against the Modi government’s proposed labour reforms. The strikers are demanding a ₹21,000 minimum wage, higher basic pension for all, tripartite discussion on labour reform, and a rollback on the privatization of profit-making public sector corporations.
Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union General Secretary said, “Preserving, protecting, and expanding labour rights must be the basis for any plan to foster economic growth and promote shared prosperity. We stand in solidarity with the 250 million workers taking to the streets demanding dignity and fairness from the government. Inclusion and solidarity should be at the core of any labour reform plan, and the government should focus on increasing the quality of work, not weakening the freedom of association and other human rights.”
Rajendra Acharya, UNI Apro Regional Secretary said, “We are with our Indian brothers and sisters standing up for their rights and for democratic institutions today. Working poverty, informal employment, and weak labour protections are grave problems plaguing India and the entire region. These challenges will only intensify unless governments work together with unions and civil society. The government should listen to the hundreds of millions of workers striking today—not ignore their demands.”
The government’s proposed reforms would increase labour flexibility, insecurity, and vulnerability, increasing the number of precarious jobs and the erosion of time-tested health and safety safeguards. UNI represents workers in several Indian economic sectors including post, telecommunications, finance, and property services.