This refers to “Bharat Bandh: An interaction of economic and social issues” (January 9). A major bane of Indian trade unions is that they are politically affiliated and practise political unionism more than economic unionism. It is not surprising then that the top demand of the unions for going on a national strike is the repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA. At a time when they have failed to perform their primary function of providing job security to their members (as evidenced by decline in the number of permanent employees and replacing them with temporary hands) their proritisation of CAA strengthens the belief that they are the obedient arm of their political masters.
Moreover, such a nationwide strike does not serve any purpose. Despite claims of success supported by a section of media the reality on the ground is otherwise. That said, a confrontation among the two sides — the government and the unions — is not a good sign when the need is for unions, industry and government to work together to stabilise the economy. Things have not improved because the government has made no serious effort to build consensus among unions so far to facilitate the implementation of industrial relations codes.
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