Friday, March 2, 2012

Look what's happening in India.  

Michelle Chen had a recent article on the February 28 All-India General Strike,  which brought together many different workers, civil servants along with rickshaw drivers, in opposition to the neoliberal policies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government.

India would seem to be the economic envy of many struggling counties, Chen notes, but the benefits are not trickling down.  In fact, a report issued by PSI’s India Office describes how India's “new economic policy ,” which embodied the free-market ideology that has shaped "development" across the Global South, has systematically eroded the economic security of government workers.  Shockingly, International Trade Union Confederation has reported that many of the most oppressed workers are children.

Workers are pushing back.  Public Services International, a global union that works with public employees in India, has formulated a list of demands, including (a) gaining the same rights and protection for temporary and contract workers as that of permanent workers, (b) raising and extending the minimum wage, (c) resisting the attacks on trade unions, (d) stopping price rise, (e) the creation of a national social security fund, (f) increase in pensions, (g) combating corruption

US civil service employees are similarly replaced by a process of contracting out.  Contract employees are paid less, get no benefits, and are not organized.

What would happen if we all decided not to go to work?  How would the country function then?

Check out the full article, In All-India General Strike, Workers Go All Out Against Neoliberalism

By Charles Paidock