New Delhi: The trade unions on Tuesday refused to call off their September 2 nationwide general strike despite the government agreeing to a 42 per cent hike in minimum wages to Rs 350 per day. Rejecting the offer which they said was “completely inadequate” and a “mockery”, they said the strike will take place as planned, that threatens to bring the entire nation to a standstill with major services like banking, education and industries possibly paralysed.
“The government’s minimum wage announcement is completely inadequate. The strike stands and we demand that they enact a law to fix minimum (universal) wages,” said All-India Trade Union Congress general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta.
Earlier Tuesday, finance minister Arun Jaitley announced a slew of labour-friendly measures like hiking of minimum wages to Rs 350 a day for unskilled non-agricultural labour for “C” category areas in the Central sphere.
In what could be bonanza for government employees, besides increasing the minimum wage, the Centre decided to pay bonus for 2014-15 and 2015-16 to Central staff based on revised norms.
This will have an annual financial implication of Rs 1,920 crores. It also said that the amendment in the Payment of Bonus Act will be implemented strictly and it will support the unions’ cause in high courts and the Supreme Court. Calculated monthly, it comes to Rs 9,100 minimum income (for 26 days), which is way below the unions’ demand of Rs 18,000.