The working conditions of employees of IT companies was a highlight at an event organised by the Joint Committee of Trade Unions (JCTU) in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
N Shivanna, state secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), informed The Observer that massive layoffs in the IT sector are deeply disturbing. “Many IT employees earn a meagre salary of Rs 12,000. The companies are only concerned about earning profits. One of our priorities is to have a minimum wage of Rs 21,000.”
The event was held to criticize the policies of the Modi government, which JCTU sees as being against poor and ordinary citizens and in favour of corporations. Speakers at the event attacked the government for weakening labour laws and for “excessive privatization” of sectors that were traditionally state-owned.
Shivanna said: “The purpose of this event is to bring attention to the plight of the workers and poor citizens of our country. Most of the economic problems have happened post-liberalization. In UPA 1, the Left was a coalition partner, but since UPA 2, there has been a steady erosion of labour laws. When the BJP came to power, the process accelerated. Policies that have been put in place since then have promoted corporate interests.”
CITU state secretary C.R. Shanbhag informed The Observer: “Forty-four labour laws have been removed by this government and now we only have four labour codes. The government has done this to please the corporations whose interests they represent instead of the common people and the workers of the country.”
Sloganeering marked the beginning of the event which is a precursor to a nationwide strike on January 8, 2020, against the economic and labour policies of the BJP-led government.
The JCTU is a joint platform of AITUC, INTUC, HMS, CITU, TUCC and AICCTU. Unions of bank and insurance employees are part of it.