Socialist Worker

India - thousands protest over changes to savings scheme

by Graham Ward
Issue No. 2501

Protests by thousands of workers in Bangalore have forced the Indian government to reverse changes to savings schemes.

Workers blocked motorway junctions and attacked police stations.

Police responded with live ammunition, critically injuring at least one person.

Workers use the savings scheme, called the Provident Fund, because employers top up their contributions by 12 percent.

Many workers rely on this extra money in emergencies.

The government wanted to change this so workers couldn’t access the employer’s top up amount until the state retirement age of 58.

The protests started when mainly women garment workers walked out of their factory and blocked a highway. Workers from nearby factories joined in and 20 police were injured after they tried to clear the protesters.

Unions planned a demonstration against police brutality on Friday of this week.

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