An estimated 1.5 lakh workers affiliated to various trade unions joined a march to Parliament on Wednesday, protesting against high food prices, unemployment and demanding a social security fund for unorganised workers.
Members of the Indian National Trade Union Congress , a Congress-affiliated trade union, joined other trade unions, in a rare display of unity. Intuc’s move was remarkable as it marched against the policies of a government led by the party it is affiliated to. Intuc leaders have maintained that they were protesting the increased hardships faced by workers. Traffic in many of Delhi’s key roads were blocked as long lines of workers carrying flags and shouting slogans snaked through. Protesters started their march from different points in the city and converged at Parliament Street.
"I’m a Congress MP, but I will not waver from joining this movement in defence of the rights of the workers particularly when policies of the government is hurting interests of the people," Intuc president G Sanjeeva Reddy said.
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said Reddy had faced pressure from the government and his party to back away from the rally and credit was due to him for not succumbing to it. "We will intensify the movement if the government does not relent," Dasgupta said.
Even Centre for Indian Trade Unions and Hind Mazdoor Sabha participated in the march.