The 11th Convention of All India Co-ordination Committee of Working Women (CITU) is being held at Arati Dasgupta Nagar, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh for two days, i.e., on 29th and 30th of September 2016. The venue of the Convention is named after Com Arati Dasgupta, who was one of the prominent leaders of the working class movement in West Bengal. The Convention started with the flag hoisting by Com Neelima Moita, Working Committee Member of CITU.
The presidium consisting of Comrades Ranjana Nirula (Centre), Dhanalakshmi (Andhra Pradesh), Manisha Chakraborty (West Bengal), Yamuna Gaonkar (Karnataka), V C Karthyayani (Kerala), Ida Helen (Tamil Nadu), Jaya Burman (Tripura) and Rama (Telengana) conducted the proceedings of the Convention. Sri K S Lakshmana Rao, former MLC and Chairman of the Reception Committee welcomed the participants to this 11th Convention. Com.M Girija moved the Condolence resolution.
Com.Tapan Sen, General Secretary of CITU inaugurated the Convention. In his inaugural address, he said that this Convention is a part of the organisational exercise that precedes the All India Conference of CITU that is going to be held at Puri in the month of November 2016. He also said that the report that is going to be adopted by this Convention is going to be a part of the General Secretary’s Report to be submitted in that conference. He drew the attention of the participants to the attacks that are being unleashed by the present day Modi led Central Government. He called upon the delegates to involve themselves in mobilising the workers of the country, especially the women workers against the attacks that are being unleashed by the implementation of anti-people, anti-working class policies of the Central and State Governments.
Com Hemalata, Convenor of the All India Co-ordination Committee of Working Women (CITU) placed the Report. The delegates from various States of the country are going to deliberate today and tomorrow on the report submitted.
Around 200 delegates from 14 States are participating in this Convention. Women comrades, who are the office bearers in various tiers of the CITU and women workers who day in and day out face the brunt of the anti worker policies of the rulers are participating in this Convention as delegates. Delegates from fraternal organisations viz., Insurance, Bank, Medical Representatives, Central and State Government employees are also participating in the Convention.
The conference is going to conclude tomorrow after chalking out the future course of action to fight against the ill effects of the neo-liberal policies and to strengthen the Indian Working Class movement.
CONVENOR, AICCWW (CITU)
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22nd September 2016
Calls upon workers to Fight and resist Privatisation Spree of the Modi Government
The Modi Government has decided to privatise 22 CPSUs under its derogatory policy of ‘strategic sale’. The list includes the plants of Maharatna SAIL located at Salem, Durgapaur and Bhadravati, subsidiary units of IOCL, Helicoper Corporation, Cement Corporation, National Jute Manufacturing Corporation, Bharat Wagon & Engineering, Central Electronic Corporation, Burn Standard, Heavy Engineering Corporation and more. In the meantime the Government initiated steps to privatise 67 discovered oil fields of ONGC and Oil India Ltd. Sale of Land and other assets of CPSUs are also included in the disastrous move. It may be recalled that the NITI Aayog has submitted a list of 74 CPSUs to the PMO for privatisation and the list includes many profit making CPSUs. The Modi Government has incorporated in the current budget to collect Rs. 56,500 crore by selling out many excellently performing CPSUs.
The Government has declared that these onslaught against public sector is their ongoing policy. The serious dimension of the attack must be understood coupled with the Government policy of 100% FDI in almost all key sectors including Defence, Coal mining, Petroleum, Power sector, Telecom, Civil Aviation, Construction, Insurance, Banking, Railways etc. It appears, the national assets are being put on sale to private hands, both domestic and foreign.
CITU strongly opposes the mindless privatisation spree and condemn the Modi Government for its suicidal policy which will shift strategic control of the national economy to the dangerous grip of the private big businesses within the country and abroad. CITU expresses serious concern that the current move of the Government shall endanger the economic sovereignty of the country.
CITU welcomes the encouraging development of the workers launching instantaneous protest actions against the current announcement on privatisation by the Government. The workers of Salem Steel Plant staged strike action on 22nd September 2016 and the strike was total since the first shift; militant demonstrations are taking place in Bhadrabati Steel in Karnataka, Alloy Steels Plant at Durgapur and also in Rourkela Steel in Odisha. In other PSUs also, preparation for similar protests are going on.
CITU urges upon the Modi Government to take note that the 2nd September 2016 strike participated by around 18 crore workers and toiling people at the call of the Central Trade Unions of the country pressing for the 12-point Charter of Demands which also includes stoppage of privatization of CPSUs. Government must stop the privatisation move and resume dialogue with the central trade unions immediately.
CITU appeals to all trade union centres and entire public sector trade movement in particular irrespective of affiliations to immediately launch countrywide united protest propaganda, campaign and action to save public sector from the onslaught of privatisation and thereby protect the economic self-reliance and sovereignty.
( Tapan Sen )
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3rd September 2016
GOVT MUST SORT OUT THE ISSUES THROUGH NEGOTIATION WITH THE FEDERATION IMMEDIATELY
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses serious concern over continuance of countrywide strike by Govt Nurses under the leadership of of All India Govt Nurses’ Federation since 2ND September 2016 with the Govt of India indulging in complete inaction in sorting out the long pending demands of the Nurses of Central Govt Hospitals. As many as 20000 nurses of Govt Hospitals including those run by MCD have joined the strike. The demands are related to pay and allowances of the Nurses for which the Federation have been pursuing since long and they have been given concrete assurances by the Govt based on which the strike was deferred at least twice. But the assurances have not been implemented.
The CITU is dismayed over the inaction of the Govt on the vital demands of the Nurses, serving in the most sensitive sector thereby creating a situation of stalemate. CITU also denounces invoking of ESMA against the striking Nurses instead of taking meaningful initiative for settling the issues with their Federation through negotiation.
The CITU demands upon the Govt to withdraw ESMA on the striking Nurses and initiate dialogue with the Federation for sorting out their long pending issues amicably and ending the stalemate.
( TAPAN SEN )
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2nd September 2016
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions salutes the working class of India for the historic strike today rebuffing all attempts by the BJP led NDA government to confuse the workers through different channels.
This was the biggest ever strike by the working class of the country with some media channels reporting that 18 crores workers joined the strike with its sweep much beyond the workers organised by the sponsoring trade unions. Employees and workers from all sectors of the country’s economy – organised and unorganised, public sector and private sector, central and state government departments, and the scheme workers participated in this strike. In all the strategic sectors of the economy, viz., coal and non-coal mines, electricity, Engineering, petroleum, defence production, telecom and the financial sector like banks and insurance etc, the workers and employees took part in the strike in a big way ignoring threats of the respective ministries, managements and also by many state governments. State level trade union centres also joined the strike in several states including Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha etc. It is significant that this general strike called by all the central trade unions except the BMS and almost all independent federations of workers and employees received unprecedented support from the common people. Peasants, agricultural workers, youth, students and women joined in large numbers in the rasta roko, rail roko and the demonstrations held across the country, in support of the demands raised by the trade unions.
Workers actively participated in the strike despite the use of state repression including the use of police force in some states like West Bengal, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Assam etc. The Trinamool government in West Bengal used the brutal force of its police as well as its goons to physically attack the workers on strike. There were clashes in several districts as workers resisted the use of force. Section 144 was imposed in several industrial areas as in Gurgaon, Faridabad in Haryana, Nodia etc. 12 workers of Maruti Suzuki and 22 transport union leaders were arrested in Gurgaon; police went to workers’ residential areas in Gurgaon to coerce contract workers who were on strike, to join work. The West Bengal transport minister directed the MD of Water Transport to suspend the striking employees. TMC goons attacked processions of striking workers, youth, women and even journalists in Burdwan and many other places.
Road transport came to a standstill in several states including Haryana, Punjab, Telangana, Karnataka, Assam, Odisha, Kerala, Tripura etc. Autos too were off the streets in several states like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka etc. Though the trade unions did not call for a bandh, a bandh like situation prevailed in many states in the country including Assam, Bihar Haryana, Odisha, Kerala, Tripura, Telangana, many districts of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and others. Large industrial clusters and manufacturing hubs in most of the states including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Delhi -NCR, Haryana, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, etc came to a grinding halt due to the strike. Lakhs of workers in the industrial areas of Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nasik, Mumbai and Solapur in Maharashtra joined the strike enmasse. The strike was total in Kerala and Tripura.
The unprecedented response to the strike, despite the misinformation campaign unleashed by the BJP government aided by BMS, reflects the anger and resentment of the workers against the attacks on their working and living conditions by the neoliberal agenda of the BJP led government.
This strike is yet another warning by the working class of India that it is determined to continue its struggle to protect not only the rights of the workers but also the self reliance and sovereignty of the country.
The CITU extends its gratitude to the massive support and solidarity extended to the strike by various sections of the people including kisans, agricultural workers, adivasis etc.
CITU demands the government to take immediate steps to meet the demands raised unanimously by the entire trade union movement in the country. It calls upon the working class to further strengthen the unity at the grass root level and be prepared for more intense struggles if the government chooses to continue with its policies.
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1st September 2016
The Union Labour Minister, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya had sent a release to Media and press on 31st August 2016 at 9 pm trumpeting on “NDA Govt’s commitment to fair earnings and social security for the workers.”
CITU considers this statement a deliberate “misinformation campaign” to create confusion and to sabotage the countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2016, which all sections of workers and employees have already prepared to join.
The Labour Minister claimed to have announced a 42% rise in minimum wage for the workers in central sphere. What does that mean for the workers and the unions who have demanded fixation of statutory minimum wage for all workers in the country at not less than Rs 18000/- per month? This means that minimum wage for workers in the “C” category areas should be at least Rs 18000, making it proportionally higher in “B” and “A” category areas, i.e., Rs 22320 and 26560 respectively. The government’s offer of Rs 9100/-, Rs 11362/- and Rs 13598/- respectively for the workers of central sphere in “C”, “B” and “A” category areas respectively is not even half of what all the central trade unions including BMS unitedly demanded and have been pursuing since last five years; they vociferously argued for the same on the latest occasion in the meeting of the Minimum Wage Advisory Board held on 29th August 2016. How could a trade union worth its name accept such a mockery on their genuine demand formulated on the basis of a formula accepted by the central govt also? BMS may consider this mockery of offer a “historic achievement” owing to their compulsion, but others cannot.
And who is going to be benefited by this offer. This offer is for the workers in the central sphere which as per Minister’s own estimate is 70 lakh. This will not benefit even one per cent of the non-agricultural workforce in the country, if at all it is implemented. For 99% plus workers of the country this offer means nothing at all. Does the minister have any answer for them?
The trade unions had been all along demanding for a statutory binding arrangement for Minimum Wage applicable throughout the country. Making noise over some marginal increase, that too for the extremely minority section of workers in the central sphere is aimed at deceiving the overwhelming majority of the workforce.
Hon’ble Minister announced that the Govt will pay the employers contribution in provident fund and pension for three years. Why should the national exchequer pay for employers’ statutory liability toward PF and pension? But this is a government that has been allowing the corporate to pilfer national exchequer by not paying due taxes (Rs 5 lakh crore), indulging them not to pay back loans taken from banks (Rs 8.5 lakh crore); they are also paying the employer the cost of training the apprentices partially, and now the Govt has decided to shoulder employers’ statutory liability toward PF and pension for three years not from their own pocket but from the national exchequer. What else can be called loot on national asset? Claiming these anti national measures as ‘commitment to national development’ is nothing but hypocrisy.
CITU asserts that this kind of gimmickry will not deter the workers of the country from their struggle. THE STRIKE IS ON
(TAPAN SEN )
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