Air India staff protest pay cut, demand continuation of medical benefits and payment of arrears before privatisation
27 December 2020: Air India Staff are protesting against unfair pay cuts, and demanding continuation of medical benefits and payment of arrears before privatisation of the company takes place. The pilots’ union has asked their members not to undertake extra duties and to refuse to operate flights exceeding their duty time. The employees’ union has sought a meeting with the Civil Aviation Minister on issues such as payment of arrears, leave encashment, and continuation of medical benefits. They also demand the continuation of welfare measures such as housing, transport, and canteens after privatisation.
Andhra Pradesh: Kadapa farmers go on strike against UCIL’s uranium mining plant expansion
17 December 2020: Farmers in Vemula Mandal of Kadapa district have gone on an indefinite strike opposing the expansion of UCIL’s uranium mining plant. The protestors have put a charter of eight demands including immediate employment, rehabilitation and compensation etc. Farmers say that UCIL did not honour their contract of providing employment, fair compensation and rehabilitation, which it had assured them in 2006. Further, locals and activists protesting the UCIL’s expansion allege that the chemical sludge is directly being released into the ground, affecting health and destroying agriculture in the region.
Karnataka: State Transport employees’ strike forces government to accept their demands
14 December 2020: Karnataka State Transport Minister was forced to agree to almost all demands of the striking transport employees, except for their demand to be recognised as state government employees. Transport employees of all four State Road Transport Corporations – KSRTC, NEKRTC, NWRTC and BMTC – had gone on a state-wide flash strike on 11 December with a charter of 10 demands. The protest was called off after the government agreed to hike salaries in accordance with the 6th Pay Commission’s recommendations, withdrawal of not-issued-not-collected cases against conductors, reduction of training period for new employees to one year from two years, to have a policy on inter corporation transfers, Arogya Bhagya health insurance cover for all employees, Rs 30 lakh ex-gratia for the families of those who succumbed to Covid-19, setting up of a committee to address the complaints about harassment by higher officials, and introduction of Human Resources Management System (HRMS) in the HR department.
Maharashtra: Mathadi workers (head-loaders) across the state went on strike demanding fulfilment of various pending demands
11 December 2020: Thousands of Mathadi workers (head-loaders) across Maharashtra went on a one-day strike to put pressure on the State government to fulfil their long-pending demands such as the reformation of Mathadi Boards, providing jobs to mathadi workers’ children and appointing a full-time chairman and secretary to the Mathadi Boards. They also demanded the status of essential workers as thousands of mathadi workers had continued to work throughout the pandemic but the government provided them no support. The strike crippled APMCs across the state which led to the state assembly discussing these issues on 24 December.
Jharkhand: Sanitation workers of Bokaro General Hospital (BGH) go on indefinite strike demanding restoration of ESI facility
04 December 2020: Contract workers working in sanitation at the Bokaro General Hospital (BGH) went on indefinite strike demanding restoration of their ESI facility which had been suspended for months as their contractors hadn’t paid them their ESI, PF, Earned Leave and bonuses for the past four months. Additionally, even after knowing about these issues of non-payment by the contractors, the BGH management had paid and cleared the contractor’s bills. Multiple reminders and warnings by the workers had failed in getting the management to adequately address their grievances. The immediate trigger for the call was when a few workers and their families started facing difficulty in getting better treatment for serious illnesses due to the lack of ESI facility.