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India: Millions of workers go on strike demanding better pay

India workers
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New Delhi, (Business News Report)|| Millions of workers in India have launched a nationwide two-day strike to express their anger at the government’s economic policies.

Millions of workers are calling to support demands to improve the rights of industrial workers, employees and farmers, to improve their salaries.

Twelve trade unions in India are calling on the government to provide comprehensive social security cover for workers in the loose and unregulated sector, raise the minimum wage under the Employment Guarantee Program, and halt the privatization of public sector banks.

Millions of striking workers are also demanding that the government stop its plans to liquidate state assets.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the privatization of some state-owned banks will reform the banking sector, and that the asset monetization model will help raise funds to stimulate economic growth.

The All Indian Trade Union Congress, one of the country’s largest trade unions, said it expected more than 200 million government and non-government workers to join the strike.

Unions are also planning to hold demonstrations in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other major cities.

The Bharatiya Mazdur Sangh, an important labor union affiliated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, said it would not take part in the strike, describing it as “politically motivated”.

Major services related to banking, transportation, railways and electricity in several states are likely to be affected by the strike.

Workers from rural and poorer states form the backbone of Asia’s third-largest economic power, integrating into every sector from manufacturing consumer products to driving taxis.

India’s imposition of closure measures in March 2020 due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, caused millions of workers to lose their jobs, and with the easing of closure measures and the opening of the economy, workers began to return.

But in light of difficult economic conditions with low salaries, which they cannot cope with the high inflation rates.

Separately, India plans to significantly increase imports of Russian coke, a critical component of the steel industry, according to Ramchandra Prasad Singh, the country’s steel minister.

The minister said that the state imported 4.5 million tons, but he did not indicate the period he referred to.

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