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Monday, August 18, 2008

Unions alleges Sixth Pay Commission only favored officers; Calls nationwide strike on August 20

Accusing the government of pursuing "anti-labour" and "neo-liberal" programmes, eight major trade unions today called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday to press for reversal of the policies that are leading to inflation.

The unions, to be supported by 40 federations of Central and state government employees, will organise demonstrations, rail and road blockades during the day-long agitation to protest against the government's economic and labour policies.

"The agitation will be a warning to the government that their design of doing as they like to pamper the corporates and speculators, both the domestic and foreign at the cost of the rights and livelihood of the toiling people will be resisted tooth and nail and they have to pay heavily for such misdeeds," a joint statement issued by the unions said.

The agitators have six-point charter of demands which include curbing inflation, a comprehensive Unorganised Workers Bill, loan-waiver scheme for farmers, proper implementation of labour laws.

The grievance also relates to the 6th Pay Commission, which the unions allege favours only the officers and neglects the junior employees.

"This is going to be the largest ever strike organised by the trade union movement. If the government fails to comply with our demands we will take further actions," said CITU President M K Pandhe.