February 25, 2024
Overwhelming Response to Feb 16 Protests, Industrial & Sectoral Strike and Grameen Bandh

Enable GingerCannot connect to Ginger Check your internet connection
or reload the browser
Disable in this text fieldRephraseRephrase current sentence

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the workers, farmers, agricultural workers and other toiling people of our country who have expressed their anger and resentment against the anti-people, anti-national destructive policies of the Modi-led BJP government through their massive participation in protest actions across the country on February 16, 2024. At the call of the joint platform of Central Trade Unions and independent sectoral federations and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, they joined processions, road and rail blockades, industrial and sectoral strikes and grameen bandh. CITU also expresses its gratitude to all the organisations of students, youth, women, intellectuals, political parties and all other progressive sections of society who have supported the call.

As per the initial reports, coal workers in almost all the units of Coal India Ltd went on a massive strike, which was so intense that even dispatch/transportation of coal from the pitheads totally collapsed.

BSNL employees across the country, in almost all the circles, massively participated in the strike.

Cargo-handling operations in almost all the major ports of the country – Kolkata, Paradip, Tuticorin, Visakhapatnam and Chennai got severely affected owing to massive strike action by the workers including the contract workers. Workers in several minor ports including Bhavnagar port in Gujarat were on strike.

In the public sector oil refineries and marketing establishments in the north-eastern region of the country spreading over Assam, Nagaland and Manipur virtually remained closed owing to massive strike action of workers with the dominant role of contract workers in particular.

Road transport workers also joined the strike action in various states in the country creating a bandh like situation in many of the districts. 

Scheme workers – anganwadi, mid-day-meal and ASHA workers – were on massive strike action almost in all the states of the country and after the strike, the scheme workers joined in several thousands in mobilisation, rail-roko and rasta-roko action in numerous states. In Gujarat, anganwadi employees and ASHAs started their two days’ strike on February 16, 2024.

BHEL plants at Tiruchirapally, Thirumayam, and Ranipet in Tamilnadu were on almost complete strike action; BHEL in Visakhapatnam reported partial strike. 

In the steel sector, the strike in Visakhapatnam Steel Plant was over 65 per cent; in Salem Steel Plant, the strike was partial. In other steel plants, demonstrations were organised. 

Workers of Powergrid Corporation of India were on complete strike in all the north-eastern states, all the southern states and also in West Bengal and Sikkim covering hundreds of electrical substations and other work locations. In Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, partial strike was held in some sub stations and demonstrations in other places.

Lakhs of industrial workers in the entire National Capital Region of Delhi, covering Delhi, along with Ghaziabad, Sahibabad, Noida, Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad in Haryana were on massive strike action since morning. Massive demonstrations by the striking workers is taking place in almost all the industrial clusters confronting heavy police atrocities and arrests, particularly in Sahibabad and Noida in Uttar Pradesh.  

Workers of the industrial areas of Nasik, Maharashtra joined in massive strike action in almost all the industrial units and thereafter thronged in massive militant demonstrations throughout the area. Industrial workers in some of the major factories including MNCs, powerlooms, engineering and MSMEs in North Chennai, Kanchipuram, Coimbatore in Tamilnadu  and also in certain areas of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Chhattisgarh were also reportedly on strike besides holding massive mobilisations throughout the states.

In Kerala, massive mobilisations were held at all district centres including at Raj Bhavan in which tens of thousands participated. In Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, J&K, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Tripura and Jharkhand, mass mobilisations were held across various places.  

The state government employees were reported to be on strike in around six states like Bihar, Haryana, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Punjab etc., while holding demonstrations in other states. Insurance, bank, and  central government employees extended solidarity and held demonstrations across the nation at their branches and offices.

The call for grameen bandh received unprecedented support in the rural areas. Farmers, agricultural workers and other rural workers stopped agricultural and other farm work and also trading of their produce and joined the workers in the demonstrations in thousands. Angry demonstrations against the anti-people, anti-national policies of the Modi government and calling for its decisive defeat in the 2024 parliament election, were held in all the states and almost all the districts in the country.

In many places, unorganised sector workers and scheme workers along with farmers, agricultural workers, women, youth etc in thousands organised road and rail blockades. On the whole, the February 16th action demonstrated spontaneous participation of people in both urban and rural areas covering around more than 600 districts throughout the country.  

This massive action was preceded by extensive and intensive campaign at the grassroots level in which thousands of trade union and kisan organisations’ cadres and activists met workers, their families and neighbours at their residential areas, in addition to the workplace level meetings.

The February 16th protest action is the prelude for the intensified campaign and struggle to save the country, to save democracy and the hard-won constitutional rights of our people and the secular character of our society from the clutches of the corporate-communal nexus represented by the Modi regime. It is an expression of the determination of the toiling people of our country to defeat this corporate-communal regime led by Modi and BJP in the 2024 parliament elections.

The protest action was held in West Bengal on February 13 and in Assam on February 15 as per the collective decision of all the constituent organisations, due to the board examinations. Both the states witnessed massive demonstrations of workers and farmers and other sections of the people on those days. The TMC government in West Bengal resorted to brutal police attacks on the protesting people leading to the death of Anarul Islam, an agricultural worker and the first martyr in this joint struggle of the workers and peasants in our country.



Edit in Ginger×


Enable GingerCannot connect to Ginger Check your internet connection
or reload the browser
Disable in this text fieldRephraseRephrase current sentenceEdit in Ginger×

Enable GingerCannot connect to Ginger Check your internet connection
or reload the browser
Disable in this text fieldRephraseRephrase current sentenceEdit in Ginger×