The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Working Class Sends Strong Message
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) congratulates the working class all over the country who responded in a big way to the general strike called by the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions. Millions of workers belonging to different sectors, both organised and unorganised, joined the strike in support of the 16-point charter of demands. The strike, apart from the industrial sector, extended to the banks, insurance, state government and central government employees.
Mass organisations of the peasantry, agricultural workers, women, youth and students have also conducted various protest actions in support of their demands and in solidarity with the strike.
The massive participation of state government employees in different states highlights the demand that their right to strike must be protected by legislation.
Notable was the strike action by the Airport Authority employees against the proposed privatisation of the Delhi and Mumbai airports. The government should immediately take up for consideration the alternative proposal submitted by the Airport Authority employees for the modernisation of these two airports.
The strike action is a clear demonstration of the resolve of the working class to resist the privatisation drive and policies which erode the hard-won gains. The strike serves as a warning to the government not to embark upon changes in labour laws without first holding negotiations with trade unions.
The UPA government should seriously consider the demands made during the strike action and take appropriate measures.