Working class unites, from coal sector to IT

Today was the second day of the three-day nationwide strike of coal sector employees, in protest against the modi government’s moves to privatise the coal sector. The situation is so grave that even RSS-affiliated trade union BMS had to join the strike called by CITU,AITUC,INTUC and HMS. The coal sector was one of the many targets for the modi government’s carpet privatisation drive, which has not even spared the ISRO.

On Friday, several trade unions, adivasi and peasant organisations observed a day of protest across the country in solidarity with the striking workers, raising larger issues including the attempts to destroy all labour laws, increase working hours, reduction in safety standards and mass layoffs.

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The Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees Union (KITU) has initiated legal action against Cognizant Technologies for layoffs without any specific reason, using the pandemic as a cover. According to labour laws, companies that employ more than 100 employees need to obtain approval from the Labour department in order to execute layoffs. Rebranding a layoff by arguing that employees voluntarily resigned when they were, in fact, forced to resign, is also against the law. This is a method which organisations in other sectors, including media, are following. IT employees have for long cultivated a sort of contempt for trade unions, thanks to the kind of education that they get in professional colleges and to the relentless anti-union propaganda by the mainstream media. Now, quite a few of them have slowly realised the need for unions, realising the fact that workers need to unite to bargain with the organisation and to keep their powers in check.

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For regular updates on labour issues and workers’ protest movements across the country, follow ‘Working Class India ( @WorkingClassIn1 ) on twitter and ‘Working Class India’ on instagram. Because, much of the mainstream media hardly ever gives space to labour issues, whichever be the sector.