Modi government now faces an unyielding organised resistance not only from the workers’ union of the PSUs but also from the unions, federations, and employees associations from other sectors. On March 15 the Farmers, Trade unions, Bankers, and employees working in PSU’s will take out an Anti-privatisation rally as the government is increasingly selling most public sector undertakings like banks, railways, and electricity to private sectors. The 10 Central Trade Unions (CTU) had initiated a protest which was later supported by the Samyukt Kisan Morcha(SKM), All India Power Engineers Federation along with 24 Federations of unions, separate unions, associations of workers of different sectors, and people’s organizations. The Bank Unions have called in for a strike on March 15th and 16th whereas the GIC unions have called for a strike on March 17th, and the life insurance unions on March 18th. The Union Budget 2021-22 proposes a privatisation drive of PSUs in the years to come as an attempt to revive economy post demonetisation has not yielded desired results with GDP nose-diving. Earlier the Modi government brought in three farm laws under Sec 13 of The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 states “No suit, prosecution or other legal proceedings shall lie against the Central Government or the State Government, or any officer of the Central Government or the State Government or any other person in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or of any rules or orders made thereunder.” With this law, the government not only tried to take the corporate sectors to the farms but also took away the rights from farmers, non-profit groups, farm unions, or any citizen to take legal recourse under Section 15 which further states “No civil court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or proceedings in respect of any matter, the cognizance of which can be taken and disposed of by any authority empowered by or under this Act or the rules made thereunder.” The government also replaced over 40 archaic laws with four labour codes and is moving in to sell most public sector units to private sector entities which has further agitated the public sector employees.
WRITTEN BY : Ayesha Siddiqua