The world’s biggest ever strike, India, 28th February 2012

The world’s biggest ever strike, India, 28th February 2012

On February 28th 2012 over 100,000,000 Indian workers will come out on strike. Workers from many unions and sectors are trying to gain improvements in areas such as, pay, pensions, and employment rights.

The strike has been called because workers have said 'enough is enough', after two years of the government refusing to negotiate with unions on any issue. Indian's are sick of the rich getting richer, record economic growth, whilst 400 million people have not got a pot to piss in.

On February 28th 2012, an estimated one hundred million Indian workers will all walk out of work for twenty four hours in what is likely to be the biggest strike in world history.

Over a dozen of India’s largest trade unions have called for and signed up to the strike. The strike will affect many sectors, including public sector banks, ports and docks, railways, insurance, road transport, energy workers, miners, and aviation workers.

“Recent months have seen a mounting wave of militant worker struggles in India, strikes for union recognition in India’s expanding auto sector, including a two-day occupation of a Hyundai plant, a wildcat strike by Air India personnel, and walkouts by telecom workers and coal miners against the central government’s privatization plans.”

The different unions have a variety of different demands, they include gaining the same rights and protection for temporary and contract workers that permanent workers have, raising and extending the minimum wage, resisting the attacks on trade unions, stopping price rises, the creation of a national social security fund, increase in pensions, and combatting corruption.

Despite seeing growth of around 9% each year, more than four hundred million Indians live in absolute poverty. Only a handful of countries enjoy similar growth, yet Indian workers have not even been flicked so much as a crumb from the bosses table. Working and living conditions are equal to, and actually worse than some African countries that are not experiencing the same economic growth.

Indian workers are starting to switch on to the fact that they ‘system’ only serves the wealthy and the bosses.

The last few year has seen a dramatic rise in the number off millionaires and billionaires, yet jobs are lost, wages cut, and unions rights pushed back. India’s richest fifty five people have 1/6th of all the country’s wealth.

Solidarity with the Indian workers on the 28th February

Posted By

working class s...
Jan 24 2012 18:21

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Comments

Chilli Sauce
Feb 27 2012 17:51

On stock options (and as Ed points out, this is simply a distraction on your behalf to avoid discussing anything substantive), capitalism is full of contradictions. Some of the largest shareholders in the world are pension plans, but that doesn't undermine that fact that capital (money invested to make money) acts in a particular way regardless of who owns the shares--including the employee stock options you reference.

Once again, those of us who regularly post on these boards have thought pretty long and hard about questions like this. So if you want to discuss them on another thread, I'm sure there are other folks who will give you much more in-depth answers then me.

On this thread, however, can you try to address some of the earlier responses people have given you? Perhaps start with things like wildcat strikes, your inconsistent strike numbers, and capital's insistence on demanding insecure working conditions in to invest (and how this could possibly bring people out of poverty?).

communal_pie
Feb 27 2012 22:51
archieishere wrote:
Ed. If you could change the world to where labour was as mobile as capital then you could treat them symmetrically. If the idea is to generate employment so as to improve livelihood of workers then you need to create conditions to attract investment that will employ labour. The alternate, that labour will go to work in places where investment is being undertaken is not possible. Otherwise every unemployed worker would have flocked to China.

The class distinction that you talk about is difficult to distinguish in reality. At what position in the spectrum of a corporation do you draw a line between workers and managers. If it is based on payoffs then again in most corporations the composition of payoffs only change gradually across the spectrum.

CP The Rickshaw drivers that you refer to are a part of union. Infact there are 3 to 4 rickshaw drivers unions in Delhi itself.

Well then, tell me why non-union replacement workers at the major unionised factories went on strike in solidarity with their unionised comrades, as you keep trying to move the discussion on yourself others are entitled to do also.

I think you realise your points are futile, you are implying that workers are in some way just as bad as managers because they might have small amounts of stock, or they might receive pay that sometimes comes close to managers. Or that workers will undermine other workers by being in a union and having better pay than other workers, as you've implied by saying that the unionised workers in India do nothing for their un-unionised comrades (which is untrue as in the factory disputes mentioned above). If management had it their way, no worker (as in, proper worker) would be unionised, no one would get a good wage apart from those willing to tread on others to get to the top, companies would have a huge arsenal to dispose of and control the workers in any which way they like and all their power would stretch a long way into workers' lives more than it currently does (for example, being able to blacklist them from other jobs etc).

You seem to think this would be a good thing, as it would enable India's "economic progress" to continue and more people would get rich quick and all of that sort of thing. History teaches us that this doesn't really happen and even now, if workers across India both in unions and out did not fight, they would have a far worse time of it.