Unifor stands with India’s striking farmers

Unifor stands in solidarity with the farmers in India’s Punjab and Haryana states protesting the deregulation of agricultural markets.

At issue is the pending elimination of the guaranteed minimum price for agricultural products. Indian workers say that the deregulation of the industry will be devastating for the quality of life for farmers and have cascading effects across the Indian workforce as wages are driven downwards.

“Shame on India’s government for using a pandemic as an excuse to ram through draconian industrial reforms,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Farmers and their allies should be congratulated for taking a firm stance against deregulation.”

Protests against the new laws have spread to nation-wide blockades. In addition to driving down wages, small-scale farmers are concerned that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reforms will overwhelmingly benefit large corporate-owned farm operations.

“Deregulation doesn’t work. Working people always lose when left to the whims of multinational corporations,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National Secretary-Treasurer. “Unifor is proud to stand with India’s farmers in their fight for economic justice.”