New Delhi: Rejecting the government's appeal to desist from the proposed countrywide strike on February 28, major trade unions have said they would not consider such a "ritualistic statement" as there has been no genuine move to consider workers' demand.
    
The general strike, which has been called to protest the "anti-labour" policies of the government, would cover all sectors barring Railways.
    
AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said the government's appeal has come "too late" as it had the opportunity to discuss workers' issues at the recently- concluded Indian Labour Congress but it "never displayed any seriousness".
    
The unions had on December 2 last year decided to go on strike on February 28.
    
"It is good that it has appealed though late in the day. If the government was serious, when the issue was raised in the Indian Labour Conference, they could have discussed it with the trade unions.
    
"Even the Prime Minister himself was made aware but government did not move... It (the appeal) is just a formality. We are not ready to consider such a ritualistic statement on the part of the government," he said.
    
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader Dipankar Mukherjee said the Labour Ministry's appeal to desist from observing the strike does not hold merit as it is the "weakest ministry" which has failed to end sufferings of the workers.
    
The Labour Ministry had on Friday appealed to the trade unions to desist from going on strike, saying it was ready to discuss with them any kind of labour-related issue.
    
The trade unions are demanding no contractorisation of work -- permanent or perennial nature, amendment of Minimum Wages Act, assured pension for all and compulsory registration of trade union among others.

(Agencies)