With the failure of talks between the government and workers organisations, the employees were sure to proceed on two days strike was already announced. Even otherwise, the settlement was impossible as the demands of labour organisation were related to policies and in case the government agrees to those, then there its economic policies are likely to be disturbed. They know that the government will not accept their demands and even with two days strike, the government cannot be subdued. The only aim of strike is to keep alert its members and at the same time, to keep alive its power to put a pressure on the government. In the strike, the normal man will be affected as number of essential services would be disrupted besides financial loss.
The national level strike by the railways in 1960s and strike of textile mill workers in Mumbai, have important significant, in the history of India when the interference of the government and labour organisation was treated as a decision but the for the last few years, the impact of these organisations is going down and their power is confined to two-three days strike only. There are few sectors like that of banking where the presence of labour organisations is of great importance. In the present economic crisis, the demands of the labour organisations too look to be irrelevant. In the last few years, the West Bengal government has understood that for the development of the state, the privatisation is necessary and because of the anti-industry/business attitude, the state is under the grip of too much poverty and unemployment. Had there been opposition in the power in the centre, it too could not have accepted the demands. It is not the case that the demands of the workers are baseless and all the policies of the government are beyond criticism but strike is not solution rather sitting across the table is. These two days strike too will pass like the previous strikes.
Is the agitation by the employees is justified? There is too much unemployment in the country or the people are working hard at the meager wages and in the present circumstances, the role of this labour organisation is of great importance by not putting before the government the demands which are beyond acceptance. Economic development and privatisation is the reality and demand of the present time and labour organisation has to think it over as to how the rights of the workers can be further improved by remaining within the limits of available sources with the government. There must be some place where government, private sector and workers could sit for a dialogue at one platform.
The imagination of socialist paradise may be contemporary but efforts could be made to make the present best.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of City Air News.)