A representative image of a BMS worker carrying the organisation's flag

Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the country’s largest trade union, on Saturday called on the government to stop the disinvestment of the public sector undertakings (PSUs). The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated trade union also asked Centre to put a total end to foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector, reasoning that corporatisation of the crucial sector was a matter of national security.

“The government must stop disinvestment, strategic sale, corporatisation and privatisation of public sector undertakings. The PSUs are the backbone of the Indian industrial structure and government must stop policy-driven privatisation of the same,” BMS, which boasts of a membership of over one crore workers, said in a statement signed by its general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay.

BMS also voiced its discontent over the corporatisation of Indian Railways, saying that it should be controlled by the government. In a statement in Lok Sabha in July last year, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal had justified privatising railways partly in “national interest.”

“There is no question of privatisation of the railways, but we should invite investment in the national interest if there are new projects and lines,” Goyal had stated in the House.

The trade union said that it would hold protests across the country at all district headquarters on January 3 to push the government to fulfil its demands. The BMS has also called for a protest at Jantar Mantar on the same day as part of its strategy.

The demands from the influential union have the potential to put the government in a tight spot, as it struggles to meet its fiscal deficit targets at the end of March. The Centre reportedly is staring at a shortfall of at least Rs 40,000 crore, unable to seal the privatisation of PSUs, including Air India and Container Corporation of India among several government companies that have been put up for sale on the market.

Besides demanding a rollback of the government’s foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, the BMS has also expressed concern over the growing trend of contractualisation of jobs.

“Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh strongly opposes the contractualisation, and casualisation of jobs and demands that all contract, fixed-term, casual, daily-wage, temporary workers should be regularised,” it said.

“It is necessary to create a sense of belongingness with industry among workers,” it added.

The trade union said that making employees permanent will result in increased productivity.

Source: IndiaTV News – Business


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