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Minimum Wages A ‘Cruel Joke’, September 2 Strike Is On: CITU

Trade union CITU said on Tuesday that hiking minimum wage and other measures announced by the government are a “mockery" of workers, and it will go on nationwide strike on September 2 as scheduled.

“Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today told the nation that the government had accepted major demands of the trade unions. CITU (Centre of Indian Trade Unions) considers the statement of the government nothing but a mockery meted out to workers," General Secretary Tapan Sen said.

The government on Tuesday announced two years' bonus for central government employees and raising of daily minimum wage for unskilled non-farm workers for 'C' category areas from Rs 112 to Rs 350. Sen said Jaitley's statement that the government has accepted the recommendation of the Minimum Wage Advisory Committee is “totally untrue".

“The committee met today (August 30) at 3 p.m. and the meeting ended inconclusively while all the workers' representatives reiterated their demand of Rs 18,000 (per month)," Sen said. “This is a ploy by the government to mislead and confuse the workers before the strike," he added.

He said the government's offer of a minimum wage of Rs 350 per day, that is, Rs 9,100 per month for 26 working days, is a “cruel joke". He said the issue of giving social security benefit to the unorganised sector such as Anganwadi, Mid-day meal and Asha workers, etc., has been “brushed aside" by the government.

“The government's announcement in the press conference on the charter of demands of the workers is nothing but a hoax and must be rejected outright. This is game to confuse and mislead people just on the eve of strike," he said.

The CITU is a national level trade union associated with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Meanwhile, the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on Tuesday pulled out of the strike.

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