Current issues

Current issues (37)

Sunday, 30 April 2017 16:35

Mayday Greetings!

Written by
Tuesday, 25 April 2017 06:21

MAY DAY MANIFESTO, 2017

Written by

On this May Day being observed in the centenary year of the Great October Revolution, CITU

Extends its revolutionary greetings to the working class and toiling people across the world and in our own country, India;

Expresses solidarity with the working class and people of all the continents in their fight against the exploitative international finance driven neoliberal capitalist order;

Greets the people in the socialist countries and extends solidarity with their struggles in defence of socialism;

Reaffirms its full confidence that imperialist conspiracies to undermine socialism and restore capitalism in these countries would be decisively defeated; that the defensive struggles of today will get heightened into struggles aiming at the emancipation of the working class and the toiling people from the exploitative capitalist system

Reasserts its commitment to socialism and its resolve to continue its struggle for a society free from exploitation by one human being by another

Reiterates its support and solidarity with the heroic struggle of the Palestinian on their just demands; condemns the continuing killing, torture and arrests of Palestinians by Israel; demands recognition of independent sovereign state of Palestine with 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its capital

Strongly denounces US imperialism led wars in different parts of the globe including in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq etc killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of unarmed people, most of them women and children, to establish US hegemony over the strategic natural resources and areas in the world; millions have been rendered homeless and destitute and forced to seek refuge elsewhere

Reaffirms its determination to fight imperialism and its aggressive interventions with all its might; reiterates its conviction that the fight against imperialism is an integral part of the class struggle against exploitation

Recalls the contributions of the World Federation of Trade Unions in leading the international working class struggles against imperialism; commits itself to effectively carry out the direction of the 17th Congress of WFTU and support all its efforts to defend the rights of the working class and attain its emancipation from all exploitation

On this May Day, CITU

Notes that the global economic crisis continues unabated; growth has not picked up; whatever growth is there, its gain is wholly expropriated by the capitalists; unemployment, particularly youth unemployment continues to be at alarming levels; inequalities are growing to dangerous levels ; 8 richest men in the world own the same wealth as half of the world’s population; the persistent attempts of the ruling classes to tide over the crisis, to protect and increase their profits, by attacking the working and living conditions of the toiling people and their the hard won rights, by promoting loot of national assets by the national and multinational corporations, have ultimately proved to be futile and counterproductive

Observes that the impact of the global crisis on the conditions of the common people and the poor is expressed in the political developments in different countries as Brexit, and the uncertainty of some other countries like Italy and Greece continuing in the European Union, the rise of right wing forces in countries like France, Austria, the Netherlands etc; attacks on emigrants’ and migrant workers’ livelihood and rights by various regimes in the West, the USA in particular with a racist overtone have increased

Emphasises that this systemic crisis exposes the total failure and inability of the capitalist system in the full and proper use of the precious human resources to improve the well being of humanity; the unfettered exploitation of natural resources without any concern about its impact on environment and livelihood of millions of people, large numbers of them indigenous and tribals, by the capitalist class indicates the incapability of the system for sustainable development

Points out that the benefits of the huge advances made in science and technology have remained inaccessible for the vast sections of people, particularly the poor because of the greed for profits which is the driving force of the capitalist system; millions of people across the world suffer from poverty, illiteracy, ill health, lack of housing and other basic necessities of life even in this 21st century; new technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence etc are utilised to replace millions of workers, not to lighten their burden, despite the huge increase in productivity, thus worsening the already alarming unemployment situation

Demands that the working hours be brought down to 35 hours per week, with four shifts a day to promote employment generation and as an immediate means to address the serious unemployment across the world, particularly among the youth

Observes that the increasing discontent and anger of the people against the impact of the pro corporate and pro rich neoliberal policies, against the widening income disparities have led to their growing participation in struggles to defend their working conditions and livelihoods; increasing sections of people – workers, peasants, youth, unemployed, women - are getting gradually disillusioned with the capitalist model of development even in the advanced capitalist countries; according to a recent survey by Harvard University 51% of young people between the ages of 18 and 29 in the US do not support capitalism; 33% supported socialism; as per another survey in the UK, 39% viewed capitalism unfavourably and only 33% viewed it favourably while 36% viewed socialism favourably and 32% viewed it negatively

Notes with utmost concern that right wing, retrograde, reactionary and racist forces are gaining ground in several countries including our own country India in the absence of a strong progressive and left alternative; disgruntled youth are being lured into terrorist activities; attempts are being made by these right wing forces to divert peoples’ anger into fratricidal fights against one another, to prevent it being channelised into united struggles against the discredited neoliberal regime and the capitalist system itself

Pledges to direct all its resources and energies to spread awareness among the working class about the real face of the exploitative capitalist system and the forces that seek to sustain it; reiterates its commitment to rouse the working class to the urgent need to uproot the capitalist system and to prepare it for the ultimate struggle to end all exploitation

On this May Day, CITU

Expresses deep concern and alarm at the rising authoritarian tendencies in our country, growing intolerance in society, the increasing attacks on all rational, scientific thought and dissenting voices by the communal forces and branding all opposition as ‘anti national’

Extends support to the surging struggles within the country against the attacks on democratic rights; condemns the attacks on students and universities expressing differing opinions or encouraging debate; supports the students, youth, Dalits and other sections of the people asserting their fundamental rights of freedom of expression

Salutes the working class and other toiling people of West Bengal for continuing to heroically resist the inhuman attacks of the TMC government and its goons on the democratic rights and livelihood of the people

Warns the people of our country, about the dangerous combination of neoliberal and venomous communal agendas being pursued and promoted by the BJP led Modi government at the centre aimed at creating slave like conditions for the workers to benefit the domestic and foreign corporates and big business on the one hand and weaken the struggles against the neoliberal policies by dividing people on the basis of religion, region, caste, etc and disrupt their unity, on the other

The Modi led government is extending bonanzas to the national and multinational corporations and big business houses through tax concessions and exemptions from labour laws and other laws of the land; it is rewarding the tax and bank loan defaulters; it is handing control over the nation’s wealth – our public sector, our lands, our mines, our seas, our hills and our forests, and most of all, our people to the profit greedy corporates, both domestic and foreign, for unbridled exploitation.

The vast majority of workers and the peasants, the creators of wealth are being pushed into slavery and penury; they are denuded of their lands, their jobs, their rights and their livelihoods. Mockery is being made of all labour laws, hard won rights of the working class, by converting them into Codes; claims of providing social security are being made while in reality existing statutory benefits like PF and ESI are being sought to be erased; expenditure on social welfare benefits like ICDS, MGNREGA, NHM, Midday meal programme etc are being drastically cut with the ultimate motive of dismantling them all; public sector is being dismantled; privatisation and rampant contractorisation deny the Dalits and adivasis their statutory right to reservation; agrarian crisis and peasant suicides continue unabated; despite all the hype of ‘Make in India’, ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Stand Up India’, employment generation has, in reality, slowed down and in many areas declining

There is a serious attack on the basic democratic rights of the people. Dissent is sought to be curtailed. Voices that question are being suppressed. The victories in the recent assembly elections have further emboldened the RSS and its various communal outfits of which have been going on rampage physically attacking people, particularly the Muslim minorities on the pretext of ‘cow protection’, ‘anti Romeo squads’ etc; those who hold views opposed to theirs, those who stand for progressive, rational and scientific thinking are being branded ‘anti national’.

It is the irony of our times that RSS, an organisation which had consciously kept itself aloof from the nation’s independence struggle, today seeks to appropriate to itself the right to certify patriotism and nationalism; it is ironical that BJP, the party heading a government that is selling off the public sector, which was instrumental in our country attaining the present stage of industrial development, practically putting the entire national economy and asset on sale to corporate looters, a government acting thoroughly against our national interests, questions the patriotism of those who oppose such anti national policies! It is also an irony that the present Modi led government, which is succumbing to imperialist manoeuvres, which is surrendering and compromising our independent foreign policy lays claim to be the sole proprietor of nationalist credentials! And it is the greatest mockery of our times that this BJP led government, which has become a junior partner of US imperialism in its strategy to establish its hegemony in Asia pacific region, by entering into Logistic Support Agreement with USA, in a shameless compromise of our national interests, claims to be the sole upholder of national pride.

On this May Day, CITU

Asserts that that majority and minority communalism and fundamentalism thrive on each other; both divide people, disrupt their unity, divert their attention from their real day to day issues, weaken their struggle to improve their lives; ultimately both help the exploiting classes; the communal acts of the Hindutva forces, in turn, increase the danger of minority fundamentalism and terrorism

Reiterates its conviction that the struggle for defending, widening and consolidating working class unity and unity of the people against the communal, jingoist and disruptive forces is integral to the united struggle against neoliberal economic policies and their political proponents

Stresses the need for unity of the workers, poor peasants and agricultural workers to unite to fight the neoliberal order and the capitalist system that subjects all of them to intense exploitation

Is conscious that this conviction places upon its shoulders the task of uniting all sections of toiling people in the struggle against neo liberalism, communalism and fundamentalism and the politics that promote these; the task of advancing the struggle to achieve a comprehensive change in the correlation of class forces in favour of a Left Democratic Alternative

Exhorts the working class of the country to take the lead in uniting all sections of toiling people - the peasants, agricultural workers, unemployed and youth; to take the struggle against the neoliberal agenda of the ruling classes to new heights; and to resist all attempts to disrupt their unity, whether in the name of religion, caste, region or gender

Assures the working class and the people that it will continue to be in the forefront in all the efforts to protect the unity of the workers and the people and in all the efforts to safeguard the interests of the country and the nation

On this May Day 2017, CITU appeals

To the working class of India

To widen and deepen its unity irrespective of the existence or non existence of unions and trade union affiliations; irrespective of religion, region, caste, language, gender etc; to strengthen united struggles against the anti worker, anti people and anti national neoliberal policies of the government

To strengthen bonds of solidarity across sectors and states and stand as one to resist and defeat the attacks on their rights, on their jobs, on their livelihoods and living conditions

To take the struggle against the neoliberal regime to new heights to inflict its decisive defeat by forging unity with all the other sections of toiling people, the peasants, agricultural workers, artisans and other rural workers

To identify the real enemy of the working class and all sections of toiling people – the capitalist system and the politics and forces that promote the system; and to prepare themselves for the struggle to change this exploitative system

To be aware of the attacks on the democratic rights of the people and thwart the authoritarian tendencies

To be vigilant against all attempts to divide and disrupt its unity and the unity of the people, in whatsoever garb or colour it is presented and to promptly intervene to thwart all such attempts

On this May Day 2016 CITU

Raises its banner in support of

International Solidarity of the Working Class
Unity Against all Exploitation and Oppression


Down With Capitalism and Imperialism
Down With Imperialist led Neoliberal Globalisation

Long Live Socialism
Workers of the World Unite

government of India to withdraw the benefits under the Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, for the MGNREGA workers.

The government of India has directed all the state and UT governments to withdraw registration of MGNREGA workers under the Building and Other Construction Workers (RECS) Act vide Labour Ministry's Order dated 10th February 2017.

It is to be recalled that the decision to include MGNREGA workers who have completed 50 days of work, under the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, was taken in 2013 after the Supreme Court has directed the government in 2012 to issue appropriate directions for the effective implementation of the Act.

It is highly regrettable that instead of taking measures to ensure effective implementation of the Act and that the welfare benefits under the Act reach the workers, the government has denied the poor workers the benefits to which they were entitled. Less than 32% of construction workers were registered under the Act as in January 2016. The amount collected as cess was Rs 24277.38 crores while it has been estimated that Rs 70270 crores ought to have been collected. And out of this only a measly sum of Rs 5684.8 crores has been spent for the benefit of nearly 2.3 crores workers registered with the board.
Since the BJP led government has come to power at the centre in 2014, it has been attacking the MGNREGA. Adequate funds are not. being provided. The number of days of work provided under MGNREGA was less than 50 at the national level, making most of the MGNREGA workers ineligible even as per the earlier direction. In such a situation, instead of taking measures to improve their conditions, withdrawing even the existing benefit is deplorable.

CITU demands that government of India to immediately withdraw the concerned direction to the state and UT governments and continue registration of MGNREGA workers under the Building and Other Construction Workers' Act. CITU calls upon all the organisations of MGNREGA workers and the building and construction workers, irrespective of affiliations to join together to bring pressure on the government to withdraw the concerned direction to the state and UT government. It calls upon all its state committees to support the struggle of the MGNREGA workers against the withdrawal of their benefits.

 

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

After a sustained struggle by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Central Govt. was forced to pass an Act i.e. “Building and Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act and Building and other Construction Workers’ Welfare Cess Act in 1996, to regulate the employment and conditions of service and to provide for safety, health and welfare measures for crores of building and other construction workers in the country. The State Government were directed to constitute Building and other construction workers’ welfare Boards. Construction workers who have worked for 90 days in a year can be registered with the construction workers welfare board. These welfare boards will provide immediate assistance to a beneficiary, who is registered with the board, in case of accident, making payment of pension, giving financial assistance for marriage of son/daughter of the construction workers, scholarship to the two children of the registered construction workers. The implementation of various provisions of these Act specially those relating to registration of workers as beneficiaries, collection of cess and its utilization for welfare of Building and other construction workers is the responsibility of the State government and State Building and other construction workers Welfare Board.

It has been noticed that very low percentage of construction workers are registered on beneficiary with the different Welfare Boards. Similarly percentage utilization of funds for welfare of construction workers has also been very low in large number of states.

Hon’ble Supreme Court vide his order dated the February 2012 has issued specific directions asking the Central Government to issue appropriate directions under Section 60 of the Board Act 1996 as well as Cess Act, 1996 for effective implementation of the Act. Otherwise also, the Central Govt. has been empowered under section 60 of the Building and other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions as Service) Act, 1996 to issue directions to the states and boards for carrying in to execution any of the provisions of the Act.

Keeping in view, the low registration of construction workers with the Construction Workers Welfare Board, the Central Govt. has directed all the State Govts to launch special drive for registration of MNREGA workers, who have completed 50 days of work in a year, under BOCW (RECS) Act on the basis of simpler process like self-certification by the applicants or certification by Panchayats etc. After these directions lakhs of MNREGA workers were registered with different construction welfare boards and were given financial benefits.

In 2014, BJP Govt came to power in the centre. BJP Govt. first attacked the MNREGA scheme and said that it is useless and it is not creating assets and has became the class of corruption. But MNREGA has become an Act and BJP Govt. has not sufficient number of MP in both the houses of Parliament. They started weakening of MNREGA by not providing sufficient funds for this scheme. In many times they stopped money for material component like cement, sand etc. and some other time they did not release money for wages of the MNREGA workers.

Now at last on 10th February 2017 the BJP Govt. led by Narendra Modi has snatched the Social Welfare Scheme given by construction welfare board under BOCW Act. Ministry of Labour and Employment, Govt. of India on 10th February, 2017 in its letter has communicated as under – “ Directions were issued by the Ministry’s letter under reference regarding registration of MNREGA workers who have completed 50 days of work in a year under MNREGA under BOCW (RECS) Act on the basis of simpler process like self certification by the applicants or certification by Panchayat etc.”.

The issue of registration of MNREGA workers as beneficiary under the Building and other construction workers (RECS) Act, 1996 has been re-examined in the Ministry and it has been decided to withdraw these directions.”

Now after withdrawal of these directions by Narendra Modi Govt., lakhs of MNREGA workers, majority of them are women will not get scholarship for their children will not get medical aid, will not get money for marriage of their son or daughter, will not get money for repair of their house, will not get other monetary assistance/help from the welfare board. The CITU strongly condemn this barbaric decision of the BJP Govt. and appeal the Central Govt. to withdraw its notorious letter of 10th February 2017 and direct the State Govt. to register MNREGA workers as beneficiary and Board Act, 1996.

The country wide general strike on 2nd September this year was even bigger and more widespread than that held on the same day last year, as initial reports from all over the country suggest. The country wide general strike this year too was held on the same 12 point charter of demands. The central trade unions claimed a participation of 15 crore workers in the strike last year. The impact of the strike this year was so huge that even before the trade unions made any claims, the electronic media reported that 18 crore workers participated in the strike.

This gives big rebuff to the claims made by the government that it was working for the benefit of the workers and for providing them social security benefits. It is also significant that the BMS, which withdrew from the strike in the last minute in 2015, did not join the strike call this year at all. Besides, the BJP led government used everything within its capacity to create confusion among the workers and sabotage the strike. The BMS became a willing ally of the government in these efforts, declaring that it was ‘withdrawing’ from a strike that it has never called, but also claiming ‘historic victory’ for the workers. All these were nothing but manoeuvres by the BJP and the BMS, both members of the same parivar headed by the RSS to deceive the workers in their efforts to serve their corporate masters. The corporate media, particularly the electronic media, as usual, aired these false claims and added their might to the misinformation campaign.

But the working class of the country refused to be deceived. As the reports show, despite the call of the BMS leadership to organise ‘victory rallies and meetings’, BMS members were not willing to oppose the strike. In fact, in several places they joined the strike. Workers who were not organised into any unions, who joined the strike last year, as in Pune industrial area, joined the strike this time too. In several places the strike spread to newer areas encompassing newer sections of workers. In many states, not only the states that are traditional strongholds of trade unions, but in many others, the strike turned into a bandh. This was mainly due to the massive participation of the road transport workers as a result of which life in these states came to a standstill. In many districts of Assam, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab wore a bandh like look. Despite the attempts by the TMC government in West Bengal to suppress the strike by issuing warnings and threats to the workers, state transport buses in the state plied empty and a bandh like situation prevailed in almost all the districts. In Kerala and Tripura, as always, strike turned into a bandh.

The anger of the workers against the policies of the government was visible in many ways. Around 70000 anganwadi employees and ASHAs, most of them who were not members of any union joined the strike in Gujarat. Thousands of them participated in the demonstrations held at the district headquarters in many districts. All the workers in the minor ports of Bhavnagar in Gujarat, Gangavaram and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh joined the strike. These workers are not members of any of the central trade unions that called the strike. Similarly in many industrial clusters across the country, thousands of workers, who are not members of any union, joined the strike.

While there were a few areas like the port sector where the strike was not as good as the last time, and a few districts where the strike in the road transport sector was not as effective as last year, overall the strike was observed in many more industrial clusters and sectors and many newer sections of workers joined it.

It was not only the misinformation and misleading campaign of the government with its huge advertisements in the media aided and abetted by the BMS that the workers confronted. In several states they were subjected to victimisation, police repression and physical attacks. In Haryana 22 leaders of road transport workers’ union were arrested and the striking workers were lathi charged; police went to the residential areas where contract workers lived and coerced them to join duties. Several coal workers in Jharkhand were suspended for joining the strike. The police conducted a flag march to intimidate workers and also lathi charged workers standing peacefully near a theatre in Noida. In West Bengal CITU leader and former MP Suraj Pathak and many CITU leaders were arrested. TMC goons attacked the workers and their supporters, including women, participating in the rallies. Around 5000 workers were arrested in different parts of Assam.

The extent of the strike and the support it received could be gauged from the reports that were available till the evening of 2nd September though comprehensive reports from all the states and sectors are yet to come. In several states local state level unions joined the strike. In Telangana, the TRS affiliated union joined the strike; the TNTUC belonging to the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh supported the strike in Telangana. Even in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, though TNTUC opposed the strike, workers belonging to it joined the strike. In Odisha the chief minister himself expressed his support to the strike when the trade union leaders met him. The Left parties openly supported the strike. Even while the BMS was not part of the strike and BMS leadership directed its members to observe ‘victory rallies’, local units of the BMS were not in a position to oppose the strike; in several states BMS members joined the strike.

Overwhelming majority of bank and insurance employees all over the country joined the strike. State government employees in most of the states joined the strike. Particularly noteworthy is the participation of state government employees in the north eastern states including Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya etc who participated in the strike for the first time. Participation of central government employees – of the income tax employees, postal employees in particular was massive. Defence employees in several defence production units joined the strike. BSNL employees all over the country joined the strike. The strike was near total in the coal sector. Overwhelming majority of contract workers in the public sector participated in the strike. Strike among medical and sales representatives was total in almost all the states.

Scheme workers including anganwadi employees, ASHAs, midday meal workers participated in the strike all over the country. Teaching and non teaching staff of National Child Labour Project joined the strike in Bihar, Maharashtra etc. Traditional sector workers like the plantation workers, cashew, coir, and fisheries workers participated in the strike in their lakhs. Unorganised workers in beedi, construction, head load workers, auto and rickshaw drivers, street vendors, domestic workers in several states joined the strike and also participated in the demonstrations, rasta roko and rail roko. Municipal and conservancy workers, panchayat workers, village chowkidars etc also joined the strike.

In Andhra Pradesh, strike was total in Vizag steel and DCI; around 70% of workers of permanent workers in the Vizag Shipyard participated in the strike. The TTD in the holy town of Tirupati was totally paralysed. Autos all over the state went on strike. Almost all the industrial clusters including the Renigunta industrial area were closed down. In several major cities truck owners associations participated in the strike. This along with the strike of the head load workers throughout the state brought all commercial transactions in the state to a standstill.

In Assam strike took the form of complete bandh in almost all districts seriously affecting public and private transport. No oil refinery in the state functioned. ONGC remained paralysed. More than 15 lakhs tea garden workers joined the strike. All public and private educational institutions remained closed. Railway transport was disrupted due to the rail roko by the unorganised workers, peasants, agricultural workers etc.

In Bihar too the strike was turned into bandh in many districts. Road transport including bus and tempo services was off the road. Workers in several industrial clusters went on strike.

Workers in almost all the major industrial areas in NCR Delh joined the strike. Massive joint demonstrations were held in several centres. The central demonstration was addressed by the national trade union leaders.

In Gujarat, an estimated 4 lakhs workers in 22 districts joined the strike and organised demonstrations in many districts.

Strike was highly successful in Haryana including in the Gurgaon, Manesar industrial areas. Workers in the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Hero Honda and other industrial units joined the strike and held demonstrations.

Demonstrations were held in Jammu region in support of the strike while Kashmir region continues to be under curfew. Thousands of workers from different sectors participated in the demonstrations

In Jharkhand strike was observed in industrial areas including in Jamshedpur that never participated in any strike till now. It was reported to be more massive than the strike in 2015.

An estimated 50 lakhs workers participated in the strike in Karnataka. Strike was total in the road transport sector and in all the major industries in Bengaluru and Mysore. 19 lakhs workers in the industrial clusters of Bengaluru joined the strike. Strike was total in both the units of Mico, L&T, Chenna metals, Toyota, ITC, Vikrant Tyres etc. In BEL in Bengaluru, the union affiliated to INTUC did not join the strike; despite this 80% of workers, 800 out of the total 1073 workers, more than the membership of the CITU affiliated union, joined the strike

The strike in transport sector in several cities and towns in Madhya Pradesh was total. Hamalis of agricultural mandis also participated affecting commercial transactions.

Strike was total in many private industrial areas in Maharashtra including the Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nasik, Mumbai, Solapur etc. Major industries like Ceat Ltd, Thysun Crupp, Sansonite India, Crompton Grieves, beer manufacturing units, pharma industries, liquor and textile industries were closed. Strike was total among beedi and power loom workers in Solapur.

Strike created a bandh like situation in Odisha. It was total among iron ore, manganese and coal mines workers and near total among the contract workers. Road transport including autos was totally paralysed.

Strike evoked massive response in Punjab with workers. Road transport was paralysed and industrial clusters remaining closed. Unorganised workers participated in the demonstrations in thousands.

The garment industry in Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu witnessed total strike. Strike was also effective in the Coimbatore industrial area. It was total in Ashok Leyland, Ennore Foundries, Simpson Group of companies and all three factories of TI Group in Chennai. Workers in BHEL Trichy and Ranipet, ordinance factory in Nilgiris, defence production units in Avadi and Aravangadu were totally in strike. In Aravangadu, BMS members also joined the strike. Contract workers in Manali industrial belt MFL, ATC Tyres in Tirunelveli and TCL Lancer, in L&T, in Tyre machinery making Honey Well company went on strike.

There was bandh like situation in the state due to the total participation of road transport workers in the strike in Telangana. There was total strike in most of the public sector undertakings in the state. Strike was also total in most of the industrial clusters in and around Hyderabad. On the whole the strike was reported to be even more successful than last year

Strike was total in Udhampur industrial area of Uttarakhand and partial in that in Haridwar. It was also total in public road transport in the state but partial in private road transport.

In West Bengal, bandh like situation prevailed in many districts despite the threats and intimidation of the TMC government and its goons. Government ran buses without passengers in the morning but was compelled to withdraw later. Jute mills were closed. Commercial activities were nominal. Educational institutions in several districts were closed. Most of the tea gardens remained closed.

This strike, the seventeenth joint country wide general strike after the advent of neoliberal policies in the country, was preceded by joint campaign that was better organised and taken up to the block and in some states lower level to reach the workers. In addition, CITU prepared campaign material to make the workers aware of the issues and their relationship to the government policies. Booklets exposing government claims were also published which were translated into local languages. During the strike the lower level committees were regularly up dated with information exposing government claims. This has helped in preventing the workers from succumbing to the confusion sought to be created by the government and the BMS.

This country wide general strike will definitely be a mile stone in the working class struggles of the country.

Hemalata

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 09:42

MAY DAY MANIFESTO, 2016

Written by

On this May Day, CITU

Greets the working class and toiling people of the entire world and our own country, India;

Expresses solidarity to the fight of the working class and people of all the continents against the exploitative international finance driven neoliberal capitalist order;

Extends solidarity to the people in socialist countries and their struggles in defence of socialism in their countries; reaffirms its confidence that imperialist conspiracies to undermine socialism and restore capitalism in these countries would be decisively defeated

Reasserts its commitment to socialism and its resolve to continue the fight to end the exploitative capitalist regime

Reiterates its solidarity and support to the valiant struggle of the Palestinian people against the illegal occupation of their country by Israel backed by the USA, defying world opinion; demands recognition of independent sovereign state of Palestine with 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its capital

Strongly denounces US imperialism led wars in different parts of the globe including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq etc to establish US hegemony over the strategic natural resources and areas in the world; hundreds of thousands of people, most of them civilians, women and children have been killed, rendered homeless and destitute as a result of these imperialist military aggressions forcing them to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere

Upholds the principle that the fight against imperialism is an integral part of the class struggle against exploitation; reaffirms its determination to fight against imperialism and its aggressive interventions

Recalls the contributions of the World Federation of Trade Unions in leading the international struggle of the working class against imperialism; asserts its faith that the 17th Congress of WFTU in October will be another milestone in WFTU’s efforts to mobilise the world working class against imperialist onslaughts on the toiling people across the world

Stands in solidarity with all the people across the world in their struggles against exploitation and onslaught on their rights

Extends support to the surging struggles within the country against the attacks on democratic rights; condemns the attacks on students and universities expressing differing opinions or encouraging debate; supports the students and youth asserting their fundamental rights of freedom of expression

Salutes the working class and other toiling people of West Bengal for heroically resisting the inhuman attacks of the TMC government and its goons

On this May Day, CITU

Notes that, all the clamour about recovery notwithstanding, the global economic crisis continues unabated, with signs of aggravation in several parts of the globe since the last over eight years; the
CITU.....


attempts by the ruling classes to come out of the crisis by aggressively shifting the burdens on to the common people – by attacking their lives and livelihoods and curbing their hard won rights in the name of ‘austerity’ while protecting corporate profits and promoting their loot on the common people and national assets - have not only proved futile but also counter productive; in fact they carry the seeds for the next, in all probability a more devastating, crisis; unemployment and job losses have attained intolerable proportions exposing the total failure and inability of the capitalist system in the full and proper use of the precious human resources to improve the well being of humanity

Demands that working hours be reduced to 35 hours a week and working day to comprise four shifts, as a means for employment generation and an immediate measure to address the serious unemployment situation in the world

Observes that the increasing discontent and anger of the people against the impact of the pro corporate and pro rich neoliberal policies, against the widening income disparities have led to their growing participation in struggles to protect their working conditions and livelihoods; increasing sections of people – workers, peasants, youth, unemployed, women - are getting gradually disillusioned with the capitalist model of development that has resulted in obscene levels of inequality and disparity with 62 richest people owning wealth equal to that of half the world’s population; 1% of people owning more than that by the other 99% combined; the wealth owned by the poorest 50% of population dropped by 41% between 2010 and 2015; in India, trend is almost the same, rather more obscene- richest 1% Indians own 53% of country’s wealth while the top 10% own 76.3%

Notes with utmost concern that in the absence of a strong progressive and left alternative, in several countries right wing, retrograde, reactionary and racist forces are gaining ground and trying to divert peoples’ anger into fratricidal fights against one another, to prevent it being channelised into united struggles against the discredited neoliberal regime and the capitalist system itself

Pledges to direct all its resources, energies and initiatives to spread awareness among the working class and the toiling people in general about the real culprit of their miseries and depravations – the exploitative capitalist system, to rouse them to the urgent need to uproot it and to prepare them for the ultimate struggle to end all exploitation

On this May Day, CITU

Warns the people of our country India, about the twin dangers that confront the working class and all sections of the common people today – the neoliberal policies zealously being pursued by the BJP led Modi government resulting in deterioration of the conditions of our working people on the one hand, and the vicious attempts to weaken the struggles against these policies by dividing people on the basis of religion, region, caste, etc and disrupt their unity, on the other

The Modi led government at the centre is pampering the national and multinational corporations and big business houses with bonanzas – tax concessions, rewards to tax and bank loan defaulters, and exemptions from laws of the land including labour laws. It is handing them control over the nation’s wealth – our public sector, our lands, our mines, our seas, our hills and our forests, and most of all, our people, for unbridled exploitation.

At the same time, the vast majority of workers and the peasants who produce wealth expending their sweat and blood are being pushed into slavery and penury; they are denuded of their lands, their jobs, their rights and their livelihoods. Laws are being amended to make the illegal legal, to legitimise corporate loot of our people and our national resources; expenditure on social welfare
CITU.....


benefits like ICDS, MGNREGA, NHM, Midday meal programme etc are being drastically cut; agrarian crisis and peasant suicides continue unabated; despite all the hype of ‘Make in India’, ‘Start Up India’ and ‘Stand Up India’, employment generation remains elusive, in fact, it is slowing down.

There is a serious attack on the basic democratic rights of the people. Dissent is sought to be curtailed. Voices that question are being suppressed. Driven by the communal fascistic ideology of the RSS, the various communal outfits of the Hindutva brigade are on rampage physically attacking and even killing those who hold views opposed to theirs, those who stand for progressive, rational and scientific thinking. All those who differ from their views are being branded ‘anti national’. Threats of ‘killing lakhs’ ‘cutting off the tongues’, ‘chopping off the heads’ etc emanate from people holding constitutional positions as ministers, MPs, MLAs etc of the ruling BJP, with the benign and tacit support of the government.

It is the irony of our times that RSS, an organisation which had consciously kept itself aloof from the nation’s independence struggle, today seeks to appropriate to itself the right to certify patriotism and nationalism; BJP, the party that leads a government pursuing policies detrimental to our national interests, question the patriotism of those who oppose such anti national policies!

On this May Day, CITU

Reminds the people of our country that the communal fascistic acts of the Hindutva forces, in turn, increase the danger of minority fundamentalism and terrorism;

Reasserts its strong belief that that majority and minority fundamentalism thrive on each other; both divide people, disrupt their unity, divert their attention from their real day to day issues, weaken their struggle to improve their lives; and ultimately both help the exploiting classes

Reiterates its conviction that the struggle for defending, widening and consolidating the unity of the class and the people against the communal, jingoist and disruptive forces is integral to the united struggle against neoliberal economic order and its political advocates

Is conscious that this conviction places upon its shoulders - the task of uniting all sections of toiling people in the struggle against both neo liberalism and fundamentalism and the politics that promote both; the tasks of advancing the struggle to achieve a comprehensive change in the correlation of class forces in favour of a Left Democratic Alternative

Exhorts the working class of the country to be in the forefront to unite all sections of toiling people - the peasants, agricultural workers, unemployed and youth; to raise in one voice their strong opposition to the neoliberal agenda of the ruling classes; and to resist all attempts to disrupt their unity, whether in the name of religion, caste, region or gender

Calls upon the entire working class of the country, irrespective of their trade union affiliations or lack of any, to join the countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2016 as decided by the joint platform of central trade unions and industrial federations; urges the common people, in urban and rural areas, to extend their full and wholehearted support to this strike that raises demands not only of the workers, not only of all sections of toiling people, but demands intended to protect our self reliant economy and national sovereignty

CITU.....


On this May Day 2016, CITU appeals

To the working class of India

To widen and deepen its unity irrespective of trade union affiliations and strengthen united struggles against the anti worker, anti people and anti national neoliberal policies of the government

To strengthen bonds of solidarity across sectors and states to resist and defeat the attacks on their rights, on their jobs, on their livelihoods and living conditions

To forge unity with all the other sections of toiling people, the peasants, agricultural workers, artisans and other rural workers to take the struggle against the neoliberal regime to a higher level to inflict its decisive defeat

To identify the real cause of their worsening conditions – the capitalist system and the politics and forces that promote the system; and to prepare themselves for the struggle to change this exploitative system

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To be vigilant against the attempts to divide and disrupt its unity, in whatsoever garb or colour it is presented and to promptly intervene to thwart all such attempts

On this May Day 2016 CITU

Raises its voice in support of

International Solidarity of the Working Class
Unity Against all Exploitation and Oppression


Down With Capitalism and Imperialism
Down With Imperialist led Neoliberal Globalisation

Long Live Socialism
Workers of the World Unite

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All India General Strike, 2nd September 2015

 Millions of workers have so far participated in the preparatory meetings and rallies in support of the nationwide General Strike on 2nd September 2015, called by the Platform of Central Trade Unions and National Federations of Employees. The unprecedented support from the workers shows the urge for changing the current economic policies that have put the workers and peasants into tremendous crisis. The united platform of the trade unions consists of 11 central trade unions viz. BMS, INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC, LPF and All India Federations of Banks, Insurance, Defense, Telecom, Central/State Government Employees and other Service Establishments. A National convention of these organisations held on 26 May 2015 had given the call for General Strike on 2nd September 2015. The trade unions have served a demand notice to the Centre and States Governments that consists a 12-point Charter of demands which includes the following:
1. Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of Public Distribution System and banning speculative trade in commodity market.
2. Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation.
3. Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violation of labour laws.
4. Universal social security cover for all workers.
5. Minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000/- per month with provisions of indexation.
6. Assured enhanced pension not less than Rs.3,000/- p.m. for the entire working population.
7. Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs.
8. Stoppage of contractual work in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work.
9. Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus and provident fund; increase the quantum of gratuity.
10. Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions C 87 and C 98.
11. Stoppage of Pro Employer Labour Law Amendments.
12. Stoppage of FDI in Railways, Insurance and Defense.
In addition to these the central trade unions are also demanding the withdrawal of the Land Acquisition amendment ordinance.
This charter of demands has got support not only from farmers but also youth and students of the country. The main concern of the trade unions are the drastic changes the Central and several State Governments intending to bring to the labour laws, including the Industrial Disputes Act. These labour law amendments whether by the government of India or by different state governments led by the BJP ruled Rajasthan government or Madhya Pradesh government, are aimed at empowering the employers to ‘hire and fire’ workers at their sweet will. They enable the employers to declare closures/ shut downs and retrench/lay off workers as well as to resort to mass scale conctractualization. They would push more than seventy percent of the industrial establishments in the country and their workers out of the purview of almost all labour laws.
All the Central Trade Unions have convened their national level meetings and chalked out programmes for independent and joint campaigns. All the Central Trade Unions have also held their own organizational meetings at state level. Those initiatives have resulted in successful holdings of the state level and sectoral conventions of all the Trade Unions and Federations. Starting from West Bengal, all the states have organized joint Conventions and adopted resolutions calling upon the unions and federations in the state to join the countrywide strike. National leaders of Central Trade Unions have attended these conventions, raising enthusiasm among the delegates participating. An important development in these conventions is the participation of state level organizations, mostly guided by the regional political parties. These organizations include the Trade Union wings or guided organizations of Shiv Sena, Telengana Rajya Samithi, Telugudesam, MDMK, DMDK and VCK in Tamilnadu, JMM in Jharkhand. In Kerala all the regional trade unions including those attached to ruling parties in the state have been participating in the countrywide strikes conducted after 2009. There are also organizations at state level, not attached to any political parties, but led by individuals or functioning as independent organizations like Working Peoples Council in Tamilnadu, which are also participating in the strike. State level conventions of the trade unions have been completed in all the states. Joint meetings and conventions were held in different sectors both organised and unorganised – Public sector units, Coal, Petroleum, Steel, Port and Dock, Road Transport, Electricity, Defense, Banking, Insurance, Telecom, State and Central Governemnt employees, Scheme workers, Construction workers etc. were held. Strike notices - union wise as well as joint are given in different sectors from 14- 18 August. Our farmers and agricultural workers are on the path of suicides, not able to withstand the blood sucking policies of the ruling class. Various sections of farmers and agricultural workers are already on struggle. The distress the Indian villages are facing is the result of the inhuman and exploitative policies being pursued by the rulers. It is for the working class of the country to be in the forefront of struggles against these policies and give confidence to all other sections of toiling masses in their struggles. The solidarity of all sections of toilers has to be strengthened. The unity of the Trade Unions on the basis of an agreed charter and the struggles being conducted have to be developed into a massive struggle against the anti-people, neo-liberal policies.
The countrywide General strike on 2nd September, should mark the beginning of a new phase of struggle. This one day general strike will turn into a massive action to warn the ruling class against their policies. We should force a change in the policy trajectory of the country and working people should move towards that as a united force.

Issued by
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 11:34

12 POINT CHARTER OF DEMANDS

Written by

Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of public distribution system and banning speculative trade in commodity market

Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation

Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violation of labour laws.

Universal social security cover for all workers

Minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000/- per month with provisions of indexation

Assured enhanced pension not less than Rs.3,000/- p.m. for the entire working population

Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs

Stoppage of contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work

Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund; increase the quantum of gratuity.

Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application; and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions C 87 and C 98

Stoppage of Pro Employer Labour Law Amendments

Stoppage of FDI in Railways, Insurance and Defence

In addition to these the central trade unions are also demanding the withdrawal of the Land Acquisition amendment bill/ordinance.

Friday, 21 August 2015 10:46

All COUNTRY PREPARES FOR THE GENERAL STRIKE

Written by

A.K. Padmanabhan

The working people of the country, from almost all the sectors, from all the states, have very well completed their preparation for the 24 hour strike on 2nd September. This strike is the 16th countrywide General strike after 1991, against the neoliberal offensive of the ruling classes and the fourth strike after all the 11 central TUs and also the National Federations came on a joint platform.
All informations from various corners of the country indicate that most enthusiastic preparations have been there to make the strike a complete success.

Central Trade Unions
All the Central Trade Unions have convened their national level meetings and chalked out programmes for independent and joint campaigns. All the Central Trade Unions have also, according to media reports, held their own organizational meetings at state level also. Those initiatives have resulted in successful holdings of the state level and sectoral conventions of all the Trade Unions and Federations.

State Conventions
Starting from West Bengal, all the states have organized joint Conventions and adopted resolutions calling upon the unions and federations in the state to join the countrywide strike. National leaders of CTUs have attended these conventions, raising enthusiasm among the delegates participating.

An important development in these conventions are the participation of state level organizations, mostly guided by the regional political parties. These organizations include the Trade Union wings or guided organizations of Shiv Sena, Telengana Rajya Samithi, Telugudesam, MDMK, DMDK and VCK in Tamilnadu, JMM in Jharkhand. In Kerala all the regional trade unions including those attached to ruling parties in the state have been participating in the countrywide strikes conducted after 2009. There are also organizations at state level, not attached to any political parties, but led by individuals or functioning as independent organizations like Working Peoples Council in Tamilnadu, which are also participating in the strike.

Public Sector Unions
The Convention of Public Sector Employees unions in Bengaluru on 25th July witnessed participation of unions form all over the country. Unions affiliated to all the major central trade unions and also the Joint Action Front of PSU unions Bengaluru and PSU Trade Union Co-ordination Committee, Hyderabad participated. 287 delegates from 28 major PSUs attended this Convention, which adopted a declaration criticizing the Government of India’s policies of Privatisation and denigration of PSUs. Adopting the 12 point charter of demands and also on issues of PSU Public Sector Workers the convention vowed to make the strike a total success.

CITU affiliated unions along with some of the fraternal unions in PSUs, had held a meeting in Hyderabad on 22nd June. 157 delegates from more than 50 units had attended this meeting, which was called by All India Co-ordination Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions.

State level workshops or conventions were also held in various centers where considerable number of PSUs are operating.

Sectoral Convention
Coal workers, under the leadership of all the major federations held a national convention in Nagpur, on 11th July, resolving to make the strike a complete success. Local and regional conventions were held in different states.

Port and Dock
The Co-ordination Committee of five national federations of Port and Dock Workers met at Paradeep on 21st June to plan out campaigns among the port and dock workers. Meeting again at Chennai on 8th and 9th August to review the preparations the committee decided to direct all the affiliated unions to issue strike notices to the management. Detailed programme of campaigning was worked out.

Petroleum Workers
National Federations of Petroleum Sector Workers held a national Convention on 18th August, in Mumbai, where Trade Unions representing all major Oil and Gas undertakings participated. Leaders of CITU, AITUC and INTUC led federations participated along with worker representatives from different centers.

Telecom Workers
BSNL employees who went on a two-day strike with a demand of Save BSNL, are fully prepared for the strike on 2nd September. All the Unions of employees have jointly served strike notice and campaigns have been well organized.

Road Transport Workers
Road Transport Workers will be participating in the strike enmasse. After the most successful countrywide strike of Road Transport Workers on 30th April, when workers from State Government undertakings, private and also of self employed sections participated, the enthusiasm among the Road Transport Workers have increased manifold.

A national convention on 4th August in Mavalankar Hall in New Delhi witnessed participation form all over the country including Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. All Central TUs and independent federations form various states participated in the Convention which decided to organize successful strike of the Road Transport Workers on 2nd September.

Electricity Workers
The National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) have been on country wide campaigns against the new electricity Bill, which will in effect be a death knell to the demands of Electricity as a human right. Affordable and quality energy to the domestic consumers will come to an end if the new Bill is passed. NCCOEEE had decided to go on a countrywide strike it the new Bill is introduced in Parliament. Though it was listed to be introduced, it could not be introduced in the Monsoon Session. Now, the unions have decided to concentrate on the 2nd September strike.

Central and State Government Employees
Central Government employees under the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, is on a countrywide campaign to make he General strike a powerful Day of protest by mobilizing all sections of employees –Postal, Income-tax, Audit and Accounts and various departments.

As far as the State Government Employees are concerned All India State Government Employees Federation leaders are on tour to mobilize employees for the strike after a formal decision to go for strike was taken on 11th July. State and local level Conventions have been organized in various states.

Defence Employees
Civilian employees of the Defence department are in full preparation for the strike. All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) and the INTUC and BMS led federations have jointly appealed to the workers to go on strike. Strike Ballot was taken by the 3 federations, independently form 4th to 6th.

Financial Sector
Major Unions in Banking and Insurance Sector are, as usual, actively preparing for the strike, which will be a total success on 2nd September. Reserve Bank and NABARD will also be on strike.

Medical Representatives
As has been the tradition, in all the previous struggles, medical representatives under the banner of FMRAI are well prepared in every state to go on strike this time also.

Scheme Workers
In the Anganwadi Sector, all the federations have jointly decided to participate in the strike. Asha workers. Mid-Day Meal workers, NCLP workers etc. are also in the campaign to make the strike a powerful protest against the Government’s attitude towards the Scheme Workers.

The reports reaching from different parts of the country show that enthusiastic campaigns are going on in all the Industrial Centres in the country. Organised Sector workers, both in Public Sector and Private Sector, along with the huge Sections of unorganized sector workers, daily wage earners and all Sections of toilers are preparing for the strike.

House to house campaigns, Panchayat level Conventions, torch light processions are being held in different parts of the country with thousands of work spot level meetings with massive participation of men and women. In many centres, General strike will turn into a total hartal.

Country is on the move
On 15th August, we saw, country wide celebrations of the Independence Day. India has entered the 69th year of Independence. The lofty goals at the time of the freedom struggle and the dreams of thousands of our Martyrs and millions who languished in the jails facing torture and hardships still remain a very distant even to-day.

Our Kisans and Agricultural Workers are on the path of suicides, not able to withstand the blood sucking policies of the ruling class. Various sections of Kisans and Agricultural workers are already on struggle. The distress the Indian villages are facing are the result of the inhuman and exploitative policies being pursued by the rulers. It is for the working class of the country to be in the forefront of struggles against these policies and give confidence to all other sections of toiling masses in their struggles. The solidarity of all sections of toilers have to be strengthened.

The unity of the Trade Unions on the basis of an agreed charter and the struggles being conducted have to be developed in to a massive struggle against the anti-people, neo-liberal policies.
The countrywide General strike on 2nd September, should mark the beginning of a new phase of struggle. This one day strike will turn into a massive action to warn the ruling class against their policies. We should force a change in the policy trajectory of the country and working people should unitedly move towards that.

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