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The Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses serious concern over the change in the base year of consumer Price Index for the industrial workers (CPI-IW) from 2001 to 2016 announced by the BJP Govt through its Labour Minister, arrogantly ignoring all the questions raised and suggestions made by all the trade unions in the country through their joint letter dated 25th August 2020.

Entire exercise made by the Labour Bureau functioning under Ministry of Labour on this matter has been thoroughly arbitrary, deliberately designed to suppress the real impact of the price rise of essential items for human survival and also to deprive the workers of their entitlement for legitimate DA. The Labour Bureau deliberately ignored the very fact that even in the midst of economic slowdown, the prices of essential items, food items in particular always remain on the rise and did not hesitate to arbitrarily as well as drastically reduce the weight assigned to food items in the standard consumption basket from 46.2% to 39% for the purpose of computation of consumer price index. Minister’s statement justifying this arbitrary reduction as change in the consumption pattern of the working people away from food item is absolutely ridiculous and  cruel inhuman joke; this is done when the average consumption expenditure marked a sharp decline with the rural consumption expenditure falling by more than 9 per cent as per CSO estimate (suppressed by the Modi Govt); and also when in global hunger index, India has been ranked as low at 94 out of 107 nations under survey below Bangaladesh and Pakistan.

Manipulation by the Govt with a dubious intent does not end here. It is also done in the linking factor for converting the numbers of 2016 to 2001 series equivalent to suppress the impact of actual price rise. Two previous changes of base year witnessed a higher linking factor of 4.93 (1960 to 1982 -22 years gap) and 4.63 (1982 to 2001—19 years gap); now a 16 years gap (2001 to 2016) entailed a linking factor of only 2.88 (62% reduction for difference in 3 years in gap.). Can fraud go further ?

Then the choice of base year in 2016 is also designed for manipulation to suppress the impact of price rise. Originally till July 2020, exercise was being done with the idea of 2013-14 as the base year. Changing it to 2016 is an afterthought by the Modi regime as the same year, the notorious demoetisation was undertaken affecting negatively the price-level of the items in standard consumption basket for CPI-IW owing to virtual collapse of the economic operation in the country in the last quarter of 2016. This change is also done with the purpose of suppressing the real impact of price rise.     

The employers’ oranisations have long been demanding upon the Govt to freeze the variable DA payment to workers as a relief to them during the period of economic slowdown. Govt has now responded to that demand of their capitalist bosses through backdoor. The present exercise of changing base year of CPI-IW to 2016  with all its components, some of which are mentioned here, is meant for that at the cost of the working people.

CITU  denounces such anti-worker pro corporate step by the BJP Govt and calls upon the workers and unions to protest and oppose the nefarious design to loot the workers and the people for the benefit of the corporate class.   March forward for making the Countrywide General Strike on 26th November 2020 a massive success.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020 14:44

Com. Maruti Manpade is No More

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses its shock and grief at the sudden demise of Comrade Maruti Manpade,  a leader of the peasant movement and the trade union movement in Karnataka. He was the Vice President and former President of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangham (state unit of All India Kisan Sabha) and the President of Karnataka Grampanchayat Workers union (CITU). He died in a hospital in Sholapur where he was under treatment for Covid 19.

He was a mass leader who was in the forefront of many struggles for land rights, demands of sugarcane and other farmers in the state. He helped organising the panchayat workers, MNREGA workers etc. He also helped in organising the anganwadi workers in the initial stages of the union. He was active in the ongoing struggles in the state against the current farm laws  and  labour codes.

He also played a crucial role in the struggle against social oppression in Karnataka and was a part of the Dalit Hakkugala Samiti (Dalit Rights movement). He was actively involved in organising the movement of ‘Devadasi’ women in the state.

CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and comrades and submits homage of respect to the memory and contributions of the departed leader.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary 

The increase in atrocities against marginalized sections of society, gang rapes and mob lynching are integrally linked to the Government project of marginalization of dalits and oppressed sections under the crisis-ridden neoliberal order. The reverse land reforms and privatization and continuing all round loss of jobs and livelihoods especially under the BJP ruled states in the recent period and the increased assertion and struggles of the oppressed sections for their rights has made the ruling classes, with the help of caste Hindutva forces consolidate the landlord rural rich nexus which serves the corporates. Under neoliberal hindutva regime, the exploitation of the working people and the oppression of any assertion will manifest as caste/gender oppression in our country especially in the countryside. It is of utmost importance that we take up every such issue of caste/gender oppression as an integral part of our joint struggle against the neoliberal policies and the capitalist landlord classes.

The Constitutional rights of the Dalits are being violated by the Ruling party. The Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was not fully implemented by the earlier Governments but BJP government is not only diluting it but is patronizing the criminals which is leading to the increasing number of attacks on against Dalits.

The heinous gang rape and murder of the 19-year-oldDalit girl by landlord, upper caste men in Hathras, UP is the highest form of the violence, which had shaken the entire country. People are out on streets against this crime and the way the BJP Government of UP shamelessly protects the perpetrators and tamper with evidences and openly supporting the threatening and terrorising activities of landlord groups against the poor agricultural labour family of the victim.  A delegation of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) and All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) visited Gulgarhi village in Hathras, UP on 4 October 2020 and extended all support and solidarity to the family of the victim.

A grave situation is prevailing in the country with increasing brutalities against dalits and other oppressed sections of the society especially against dalit women under the BJP rule. In Uttar Pradesh it is a total Criminal Raj under the RSS led Yogi Government which is making UP as a laboratory of Upper caste landlord dominance terrorizing the dalits as well as any dissenting voice, the best example being the Unnao case. There have been spontaneous protests all over the country by all democratic sections of the society. Many of our units have organized protests against Hathras rape and murder case in most of the states in numerous locations. As part of the continuous struggles against these oppressions a joint meeting of CITU, AIKS and AIAWU decided to take up massive campaign and nationwide protest against the atrocities on Dalits, Women and socially backward sections on 13 October 2020.

We Demand

  1. Time bound effective enquiry of Hathras case under supervision of Supreme Court
  2. Strict punishment to the police officers and other officials who had derelict their duty
  3. Ensure safety to the family of the girl
  4. Justice to the victims of all such cases including Unnao, Balrampur and other places
  5. Ensure implementation of Justice Verma Committee recommendations
  6. Land and housing to the landless
  7. Ensure jobs and minimum wages to all
  8. Strict implementation of laws on reservation, on atrocities against dalits and violence against women

Units of CITU, AIKS and AIAWU will organize joint protests local/workplace/village levels on the day.

Issued by                                                                                          

Hannan Mollah                         B Venkat                                  Tapan Sen 
General Secretary             General Secretary                       General Secretary
    AIKS                                    AIAWU                                            CITU

A delegation of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), All India Agricultural Workers Union   ( AIAWU) and All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) visited Gulgarhi village in Hathras, UP on 4 October 2020 and extended solidarity with the family of the Dalit girl who was brutally gang raped and killed by upper caste landlord men. It is with great difficulty the delegation was allowed by the police to go the house of the victim. The village is still cordoned and their neighbors are terrorized. The delegation had to wait for three hours to meet the family.

Members of the delegation conveyed their condolences to her parents Ramadevi, Omprakash and other members of the family. The inconsolable family members shocked by the barbaric incident held the BJP Government responsible for their daughter's death. The mother of the girl narrated how, the police in an inhuman way have cremated her child without allowing her to even have a look. She also said that her daughter has named the culprits before her death. The police intimidation in each step also was questioned. The father in law of the brother of the girl was manhandled by the officials. The girl's father Omprakash told the team that they do not have faith in the BJP State Government or in the CBI Enquiry announced by them. The family wanted a Judicial Enquiry supervised by the Supreme Court. The team supported the demand and assured all support for the same including legal support as may be required. Omprakash who worked in Asansol, Bengal earlier said he was acquainted with the Red Flag, our organisations and requested support in their struggle for justice.

Central Trade Unions and Independent Federations declared Nationwide General Strike on 26 November 2020 against the anti worker, anti farmer, anti people anti national policies of BJP Government in an online National Convention of Workers  held on Gandhi Jayanti Day, 2nd October 2020.

The National Convention strongly condemned the onslaught on the basic democratic and constitutional rights of the workers, farmers and common people of our country by Modi led BJP government at the Centre as well as by BJP State Governments. The convention expressed support and solidarity with the struggles of different sections of the society and workers from both organised and unorganised sectors. The convention noted the militant resistance struggles of the workers against the privatisation, Corporatisation, FDI etc in various sectors including the Railways, Coal, BPCL, BSNL, Finance Sector. The Convention adopted resolutions in support with the struggles of Electricity employees in Uttar Pradesh, Proposed struggles of Coal and defence sectors. Workers all over the Country will hold militant demonstrations in support of the strike of defence sector in all the workplaces on 12th October, 2020 and after every week thereafter, till the strike is settled honourably.

This convention extended full solidarity to the farmers who are demanding withdrawal of anti farmer agri-laws which have been passed without even allowing voting on them and declared that the joint trade union movement would continue to support and express solidarity in all forms to their struggle at the national level as well as in any part of the country.The convention condemned the divisive machinations being played out, by the BJP governments to tear up the secular fabric of our society by implicating all those express dissent. The convention expressed serious concern over the increasing violence against women and condemned the Hathras rape and demanded justice to the victim.

The convention was addressed by G Sanjeeva Reddy (INTUC), Amarjeet Kaur (AITUC), Harbhajan Singh Sidhu (HMS), Tapan Sen (CITU), Shankar Dasgupta(AIUTUC), G Devarajan (TUCC), Soinia George (SEWA), Santosh Roy (AICCTU), M Shanmugham M P (LPF) and Shatrujeet (UTUC). Thegroup convention which was telecasted live in facebook has reached more one lakh workers through various links. In many workplaces workers joined the convention in groups.

The following programmes were adopted by the convention

Ø  Joint state/ district/ industry/sectoral level conventions (physically wherever possible, online otherwise) will be organised in October 2020

Ø  Extensive campaign on the adverse impact of the labour codes on the workers down to the grass roots level up to mid November

Ø  One day country wide general strike on 26th November, 2020. Let it be known that this One Day Strike is in preparation for more intense, more tenacious and longer struggles that lie ahead.

The Convention called upon all the working people, whether unionised or not, affiliated or independent, whether from organised sector or unorganised sector, to intensify the united struggle against the anti-people, anti-worker, anti-farmer and anti-national policies of the Govt and make the call for countrywide general strike on 26th November, 2020 a total success.

        INTUC              AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                  AIUTUC
        TUCC                SEWA                     AICCTU                LPF                    UTUC

And INDEPENDENT FEDERATIONS/ASSOCIATIONS

Encl:- Declaration with demands (English and Hindi) and Resolutions adopted in the convention

 

 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulated the working class of the country for their militant demonstrations across the country today against the most undemocratic and authoritarian way in which the BJP government got the anti worker and anti peasant Bills passed in Parliament. Lakhs of workers participated in the protests held in more than a lakh places in all the states in the country.

In utter display of its total contempt for Parliamentary democracy, the BJP government got the three labour Bills – the Code on Industrial Relations, the Code on Social Security and the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions – in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha without the presence of opposition members. Earlier the opposition boycotted Parliament protesting against the illegal suspension of 8 MPs for exercising their right to demand division on the Farm Bills, which were also declared passed amidst chaos. It is a shame that an elected government in Parliamentary democracy shows such contempt for constitutional and democratic rights of not only common people but of the elected Members of Parliament as well.

Leaders of the central trade unions who addressed the gathering at Jantar Mantar in the national capital exposed the BJP government’s utter untruths about the labour codes benefiting the workers and its claims of taking the trade unions into confidence. The copies of the bills were torn down by the angry protesters. The central trade union leaders also reiterated their support to the all India protests by the farmers on 25th September against the farm bills. With the passage of the labour code bills and the farm bills it has become imperative for the toiling people to unite in their full strength to fight them at the ground. The trade unions called upon all their members and the entire working class to stand in full solidarity with the peasants through physical mobilisation on 25th September 2020.

The Farm Bills and the Labour Bills are nothing but brazen acts to push the working class into 19th century slavery like conditions, drive our small and medium farmers into the deadly grip of the corporate agribusinesses and convert our small farmer based agriculture into corporate agriculture. These along with the whole sale privatisation of the public sector sound the death knell to our self reliant economy and our toiling people. All these are meant to serve the corporate cronies, domestic and foreign, of this BJP government.

Through their massive mobilisations despite the surging Covid, the working class have declared that they would not allow these disastrous policies to continue. They made it known that the toiling people will defy, resist and stop these anti people and anti national measures on the ground, come what may. Let the BJP government warned that powerful struggles lie ahead.

While congratulating the working class for their massive response to the call of the central trade unions, CITU exhorts them to continue the struggle on the ground. It asserts that defiance and resistance is the only way forward to reverse the anti worker neoliberal agenda of the BJP government.

Issued by: 
Hemalata
President

CENTRAL TRADE UNIONS SUPPORT
THE PEASANTS’ UNITED PROTESTS ON 25TH SEPTEMBER
DEMANDS BJP GOVERNMENT TO STOP DESTRUCTIVE ANTI FARMER MEASURES
CALLS FOR COUNTRYWIDE SOLIDARITY ACTIONS BY WORKERS

The joint platform of Central Trade Unions and sectoral federations declares its unstinted support to the initiative of Joint Platform of Peasants and Agricultural Workers Organisations –the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee to hold Countrywide Protest and Resistance on 25th September 2020 through massive demonstration, Rail Roko, Rasta Roko etc against the anti-people, anti-farmer destructive legislations being pushed through by the BJP Govt at the centre which was preceded by Ordinances in an authoritarian manner. We also join them in protesting against the disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

CTUs and sectoral federations call upon the workers and their unions of all affiliations and across the sector to join actively in the programmes of protest and resistance being organised by the peasants’ organisations in and around their respective areas.

The anti-farmer, anti-people move of the Govt have been initiated by three Ordinances which are aimed at completely restructuring the management of the agricultural economy including farm trade in total favour of the big-landlord corporate nexus and multinational trading cliques on agricultural produce. They virtually kill the rights and entitlements of the agricultural population. The Essential Commodities Act and related anti-hoarding, anti-black-marketing regulations are going to be curbed. The virtual withdrawal of Govt’s role in ensuring fair and remunerative prices for farmers’ produce will pave the way for ultimate doing away with Govt procurement of agricultural produce with minimum support price. In totality, peasant agriculture will be totally ruined, on which survival of more than sixty percent population is dependent. These measures would recklessly promote contract farming at terms and prices dictated by big landlord-corporate nexus including foreign trading cliques, who would usurp monopoly power. Mass of the non agricultural population will also be severely affected and put in miseries since the food security of the country is going to be endangered under new dispensations. The new measures are also aimed to facilitate profiteering by big players like Adani, Wilmar, Reliance, Walmart, Birla, ITC etc and also the large trading companies, both foreign and domestic.

Two of these destructive ordinances have already been converted into laws in the ongoing Parliament session. They are patently unconstitutional as they encroach upon State subject, destroying federalism in the process. Hence defiance and resistance with a determination not to allow these destructive measures to be implemented in our agricultural economy is the only way before the people. The joint countrywide action by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) on 25th September 2020, which may turn into total Bandh in Punjab and Haryana and series of blockades in every corner of the country, is therefore a necessary action to protect the farmers, the food security and the country’s economy. The working class movement firmly stands by it.

CTUs and Federations reiterate their solidarity and support to the call for countrywide protest and resistance actions by peasants on 25th September 2020 and any united actions later on in states and call upon the working people to extend support and organise solidarity programmes across the sectors.

INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC
And Sectoral Federations and Associations

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions welcomes the initiative of Joint Platform of Peasants and Agricultural Workers Organisations –the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee to hold Countrywide Protest and Resistance on 25th September 2020 through massive demonstration, Rail Roko, Rasta Roko etc against the anti-people, anti-farmer destructive legislations being pushed through by the BJP Govt at the centre which was preceded by Ordinances in an authoritarian manner. They are also protesting against the disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill 2020.

CITU, while extending active solidarity support to the united struggle of the peasants and agricultural workers calls upon the workers and their unions of all affiliations and across the sector to join actively in the programmes of protest and resistance being organised by the peasants’ organisations in and around their respective areas.

The anti-farmer anti-people move of the Govt have been initiated by three Ordinances which are aimed at completely restructure the management of the agricultural economy including farm trade in total favour of the big-landlord corporate nexus and multinational trading cliques on agricultural produce. They virtually kill the rights and entitlements of the agricultural population. The Essential Commodities Act and related anti-hoarding, anti-black-marketing regulations are going to be curbed. The virtual withdrawal of Govt’s role in ensuring fair and remunerative prices for farmers’ produce will pave the way for ultimate doing away with Govt procurement of agricultural produce with minimum support price. In totality, peasant agriculture will be totally ruined, on which survival of more than sixty percent population is dependent. These measures would recklessly promote contract farming at terms and prices dictated by big landlord-corporate nexus including foreign trading cliques, who would usurp monopoly power. Mass of the non agricultural population will also be severely affected and put in miseries since the food security of the country is going to be endangered under new dispensations. The new measures are also aimed to facilitate profiteering by big players like Adani, Wilmar, Reliance, Walmart, Birla, ITC etc and also the large trading companies, both foreign and domestic.

These destructive ordinances are going to be converted into laws in the ongoing Parliament session. Hence defiance and resistance with a determination not to allow these destructive measures to be implemented in our agricultural economy is the only way before the people. The joint countrywide action by All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) on 25th September 2020, which may turn into total Bandh in Punjab and Haryana and series of blockades in every corner of the country, is therefore a necessary action to protect the farmers and the country’s economy. The working class movement welcomes it.

CITU reiterates its solidarity and support to the call for countrywide protest and resistance actions by peasants on 25th September 2020 and calls upon the working people and their unions across the sectors to actively participate in the action programmes of the peasants and agricultural workers.

Issued by:
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the workers of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) for two days strike action on 7th and 8th September 2020 against the destructive and disastrous move of the BJP Govt to privatise BPCL and hand over the profit making company to chosen private hands.  

BPCL was formed by taking over a multinational company through an Act of Parliament in 1976. There had been moves by the same BJP Govt during 2002-2003 to privatise BPCL which could be resisted through united struggles including three days strike by the BPCL workers along with solidarity support by the entire petroleum sector workers’ movement. Consequent upon formation of BPCL in PSU, the company has hugely augmented its refining capacity, network of LPG Terminals/bottling plants and expanded it marketing network throughout the country through huge public investments thereby expanding its asset base to a value of more than Rs 9.5 lakh crore which are all national property.    

The same BJP Govt is now hell bent in handing over this consistently profit making company to its chosen private player through strategic sale route, almost at a throw away price (may be around Rs 60000 crore) despite the  fact that BPCL has been regularly and handsomely contributing to national exchequer through dividend and taxes. The very idea of privatizing BPCL is against the national interest and designed for handing over the monopoly control of petroleum sector to the particular private corporate player of its choice.  

The BPCL workers and their unions have again taken up the challenge to fight back this destructive anti-national move through two days strike action on 7th and 8th September 2020. As per latest report received, from different centres:

BPCL Refineries located in Kochi and Mumbai were in hundred per cent strike on both the days. Only executives joined duty. Most of the LPG Bottling Plants of BPCL in eastern, north-eastern and in northern India were virtually shut down. In the marketing segment of BPCL in northern, eastern India and to a great extent in western India, marketing activities have been severely affected on both the days owing to strike. There have been widespread solidarity demonstrations in numerous establishments by the respective unions throughout the country, particularly in the petroleum sector. All the Central Trade Unions and Federations have also extended their full support to the strike struggle of BPCL workers. 

The two days strike by BPCL workers on 7-8 September 2020, preceded by a three days strike by coal workers in July last against the same destructive privatization, and going to be succeeded by indefinite strike by defence production workers in Ordnance Factories from 12th October 2020 are a pointer towards the gradually developing resistance struggles by the working class against the desperate bid of selling the national assets and destroying national productive capacity by the BJP Govt. CITU calls upon all concerned to carry forward the united struggle to further height. CITU also calls upon all progressive and patriotic sections of society to oppose the BJP government’s measures to hand over national wealth to their corporate cronies, and support the workers’ struggles against such attempts

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly denounces the attempts of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh to unbundle the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Ltd, in a bid to privatise it. The government has decided to divide the distribution system into three entities, which will then have to bid for electricity distribution. The government’s decision to privatise electricity sector will lead to increase in the electricity rates and make electricity, an essential service for people, out of reach to the poor, particularly those in the remote rural and tribal areas.

CITU also condemns the vindictive attitude of the UPPCL (Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Limited) management, which is trying to intimidate and threaten the leaders of the joint struggle committee, instead of discussing with them. The UPPCL has issued notice to 18 leaders of the joint struggle committee threatening them of imprisonment under ESMA, National Disaster Management Act etc

The Vidyut Karmachari Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti, a joint struggle committee of electricity employees and engineers in the state has opposed this and decided to launch a broad movement against privatisation of electricity distribution. It has served notice to the UP government and the management on 24th August and decided to hold protest meetings every working day in all the districts that are covered by the Purvanchal Vidyut Vitaran Nigam, in the first phase of the agitation. These protest meetings are being conducted with huge participation of electricity employees and engineers. Wide campaign is also being conducted among the consumers and the people in general to create awareness about the outcome of unbundling and privatisation on their lives.

CITU congratulates the joint struggle committee for its fearless struggle against the anti worker anti people privatisation of electricity and its determination to continue with its second phase of struggle of indefinite strike and jail bharo to stop privatisation. CITU fully supports its struggle and stands in solidarity with the electricity employees and engineers in UP.

CITU calls upon all its units across the country to send solidarity messages to the Vidyut Karmachari Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti of Uttar Pradesh supporting their anti privatisation struggle. CITU also calls upon the people of UP and the entire country to support the struggle in all possible ways.

The struggle against privatisation of electricity is not the struggle of the electricity employees alone. It will impact all sections of society, the common consumers, the peasants, industries and industrial workers. But the BJP government at the centre is going ahead with the Electricity Amendment Bill 2020, which will lead to steep increase in the electricity charges. Thus it is imperative on all sections of the people to oppose this Act along with the electricity employees.

CITU demands the BJP government to immediately withdraw the disastrous Electricity Amendment Bill. It calls upon the people to come together against privatisation of electricity and tell the BJP government in unambiguous terms – ‘We Will Not Allow Privatisation of Electricity in Any Manner’.

Issued by:
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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