THE scheme workers organised a successful all-India strike on September 24. The Joint Platform of Scheme Workers’ Federations congratulated them for the magnificent show of strength. Lakhs of scheme workers mainly the Anganwadi, ASHA and Mid-day Meal workers struck work and held demonstrations, dharnas, rallies etc at district/block centres throughout the country. In spite of repressions and efforts to sabotage the strike and mobilisations, strike was successful in almost all the states including Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.
The strike call was given by the Joint Platform of Scheme Workers consisting of the organisations of scheme workers affiliated to the central trade unions – INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC. The strike was more unified and was participated by wider sections of the scheme workers this year compared to earlier struggles despite the adverse covid situation in many parts of the country. This year there was much more coordination between various sectors of scheme works as well as among various trade unions.
The demands of the strike include immediate demands of basic safety gear for frontline scheme workers deputed for covid duty and for all those engaged in pandemic management work, risk allowance and insurance cover during covid duty and long pending demands of regularisation as workers, minimum wages, social security and pension and against privatisation. The unions have submitted a memorandum addressed to the prime minister at all centres.The unions have also raised issues of basic rights of the people for health and nutrition and adequate budget allocations to ensure this. The strike has received wide support from various sections of the people.