Government

Concerned Citizens Group Urges Modi to Pay Attention to Workers’ Demands

“Living standards have fallen, joblessness and job insecurity has increased, and the country’s self-reliance is threatened by your government’s policies.”

Women at the workers' protest. Credit: Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta/The Wire

Women at the workers’ protest. Credit: Ajoy Ashirwad Mahaprashasta/The Wire

Close to 50 activists, scholars, journalists, writers and filmmakers have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government to look into the demands raised by protesting workers for several years. A large number of them have gathered in New Delhi’s Parliament Street over the last week for a dharna marking the anniversary of demonetisation – the ‘Mahapadav’ – to draw attention to the deteriorating conditions of workers.

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Letter to the prime minister

We, the undersigned concerned citizens, strongly urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government, to immediately pay attention to the demands raised by workers of the country represented by ten central trade unions and several all India federations of workers and employees. The workers have been agitating for several years for getting better wages and social security, for a universal PDS, for end to contract-work, for controlling price rise and for ending various policies hostile to people’s interests like privatisation of public sector units, dilution of labour laws, etc. Living standards have fallen, joblessness and job insecurity has increased, and the country’s self-reliance is threatened by your government’s policies. Workers are the backbone of our economy and primary creators of wealth. Their continued neglect and marginalisation, even as big industrialists and foreign capital receive largesse from your government, is a betrayal of the public mandate given to you.

Some of the signatories include:

Krishna Sobti, Writer
Bezwada Wilson, Safai Karmachari Andolan
S.P. Shukla, Retd. Secretary, Finance, Government of India
Githa Hariharan, Writer
K. Satchidanandan, Writer
Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor, DU
Jayati Ghosh, Professor, JNU
Rahul Roy, Filmmaker
Satyajit Rath, Scientist
C.P. Chandrasekar, Professor, JNU
Ayesha Kidwai, Professor, JNU