Kochi: Employees of IT companies in Kerala including those working in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and IT Parks, are among those who will join the historic 24-hour nationwide general strike on September 2, 2015. This was announced by Shri Elamaram Karim MLA, former Industries Minister (LDF), Trade Union leader and also President of Samyukta Samara Samithi, the joint front of trade unions.
11 Central Trade Unions (CTUs) and their affiliates have called for the nationwide strike that will cover public and private sectors including ports, refineries, banking and railways. The strike will affect traffic and transport operations; operations of commercial and trading establishments and Central & State Government offices. The strike call is against the labour policy of the Union Government.
Addressing the media in Kochi, Karim said, “The strike will bring the State to a standstill as workers across all industries express their solidarity with the strikers. The State’s IT sector will also be affected as workers of these establishments participate in the strike. We request all sections of the society to join the strike.”
The strike is also against the corporate friendly and anti-worker ‘hire & fire’ policies adopted by the government, and for raising of minimum wage to Rs. 15,000 apart from protection of workers in the private sector.
A D Jayan, General Secretary of the Association of IT Employees (AITE), the first independent Trade Union in the IT industry in Kerala affiliated to CITU said, “As of now, we have active District Committees in all 14 Districts in Kerala and we have more than 30,000 members across the State. We expect all of them to take part in the strike.”
Meanwhile, it may be recalled that the two major IT parks in Kerala, the Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram and the Infopark in Kochi, have always worked on every strike, bandh or hartal day, over these years. The Park management and the IT companies have contingency plans in place and also offer combined convoy services to transport the employees. Key professionals would be asked to stay back in office. However, attendance will be low in these IT parks as many employees would opt for working from home and those who depend on public transport would find it difficult to reach office.
The Kerala Government has announced that ‘dies non’ (no work, no pay) principle would apply to State Government employees who participate in the countrywide strike next Wednesday.
Kerala Biz News
Photograph shows a convoy of buses to Technopark, Trivandrum on a hartal day