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Ear to the Ground

Indian Protesters: ‘Up With the Workers, Down With the Government’

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Posted on Feb 21, 2013
Al-Jazeera

Protesters demonstrate in India.

As many as 100 million Indians angry about high prices, low pay and poor working conditions walked off their jobs Wednesday as a two-day strike organized by 11 major trade unions closed banks, disrupted major transportation and reportedly saw two deaths, Al-Jazeera reports.

The strikers want a legal minimum wage, fairer contracts, better working conditions and a halt to outsourcing of public jobs to the private sector.

“Workers are being totally ignored and this is reflected in the government’s anti-labor policies,” said Tapan Sen, general secretary of the umbrella Centre of Indian Trade Unions.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Al-Jazeera:

One labour leader was reportedly killed in the northern city of Ambala.

He was squatting along with a group of workers near the local bus depot as part of the strike when he was hit by a bus in his bid to stop it from leaving the terminal, the Times of India reported.

“The incident took place around 4 am this morning when Narender Singh, a bus driver by profession, tried to stop the vehicle which was being taken out from the Ambala Depot despite the strike,” said Inder Singh Bhadana, the district president of the Haryana Roadways Workers Union.

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