By Central Trade Unions on 17 JANUARY 2018

Workers will March From Mandi House to Parliament Street at 11am

As per the decision of the Mahapadav of workers held on 9-11 November 2017, the Central Trade Unions have decided to go on a one day strike of all ‘scheme workers’ working under various Government Schemes on 17 January 2018. More than one crore scheme workers are working under various central and state government schemes including around 27 lakh Anganwadi, Mini Anganwadi Workers and Helpers under the ICDS Scheme, nearly 28 lakh Mid Day Meal Workers under the MDM Scheme and around ten lakh ASHA Workers under the NHM, lakhs are working under SSA, NRLM, NCLP, Small Savings Schemes etc will go on strike tomorrow and will hold rallies, demonstrations, dharnas etc at district level and submit memorandum through district authorities to the Finance Minister, Government of India.

These schemes deliver basic services of health, nutrition education etc to the mass of the population. These workers are not recognised as workers and are not paid minimum wages nor do they have any social security benefits. In the name of ‘honorarium’ or ‘incentive’ they are paid a pittance as low as Rs.1000 per month for ten months a year in the case of mid day meal workers. The 45th Indian Labour Conference recommended that these workers must be recognised as workers, must be paid minimum wages and given social security benefits including pension. Various trade union federations of scheme workers have been conducting struggles raising these demands independently and jointly. But neither the UPA nor the NDA government was ready to implement these ILC recommendations.

Moreover, the Modi led NDA government is moving towards winding up these crucial schemes such as ICDS, NHM and MDMS by drastic budget cuts and structural changes, including privatisation of the schemes involving corporate and corporate NGOs. The beneficiaries are actually being excluded in the name of linking of Aadhar and bank accounts.  The government is introducing conditional cash transfers in place of universal services of crucial schemes including the ones which ensure food security. The remuneration of the workers and the facilities of the schemes are being affected due to the budget cuts. In spite of repeated demand by the central trade unions, the Government is going ahead with moves to dismantle the schemes.

The Demands are

  1. Implement the recommendations of the 45th ILC on scheme workers: recognition as workers, minimum wages not less than Rs.18,000 per month and social security including monthly pension not less than Rs.3000 to all scheme workers. Give coverage of EPF and ESI to scheme workers.
  2. Adequate financial allocation in the Union Budget 2018-19 for the Centrally sponsored schemes including ICDS, MDMS, NHM, SSA, NCLP etc to ensure increase in wages for the workers to the level of  minimum wages and universalisation of the schemes with adequate infrastructure and quality services.
  3. No privatisation of the schemes in any form and no subversion by way of cash transfer or exclusion of beneficiaries

The future course of the joint struggles will be decided after the Central Budget according to the response of the government.

In Delhi, the scheme workers will organise a march from Mandi house to Parliament Street. The March will start at 12am.

We request you to cover the event.

Issued by

A R Sindhu, CITU


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