Solidarity with Indian trade unions
Call from World Federation of Trade Unions
National trade union centres and industrial federations of trade unions of India have called for a nationwide general strike on May 21, 2003, to protest against the extremely serious negative consequences of so-called "globalisation" policies pursued by the government and employers as advised by the World Bank, IMF and the WTO. These anti-labour and anti-social policies include the liquidation of the public sector in industry, banking and various services including the education and health services and the transfer of these activities and enterprises to the local and foreign private firms, jeopardising the economic independence and balanced development of the country. The working people and trade unions are also protesting against the dilution of labour laws particularly those concerning job security and labour protection and the liquidation of the gains of decades of struggle of the Indian trade union movement. The Indian trade union organisations point out that these policies of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation have already led to a steep rise in unemployment and fall in living standards. These policies have not only failed to achieve economic and social development objectives adopted by the parliament but they endanger the strategies and policies of self-reliant economic development which are so essential for the eradication of poverty and to achieve the aims outlined in the national development plans. The WFTU draws the attention of the ILO and its Commission on Globalisation to take note of this nationwide protest action of the working people and trade unions, supported by broad democratic forces in one of the most populous countries of the world which underlines the need for a total review and rejection of the neoliberal globalisation policy prescriptions imposed on countries by the IMF, World Bank and the WTO. The WFTU appeals to trade unions and democratic forces in all countries to express their fraternal solidarity with the nationwide protest action on May 21 organised by the Indian trade union movement rejecting neoliberal globalisation, and support the struggle for democratic, alternative, people-oriented economic and development strategies.