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The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Congratulates the Working Class and the People for the tremendous response to its call for a nationwide protest on 16-17 July 2020 against the desperate and disastrous move of the Govt for Privatisation of Indian Railways. Protest demonstrations were held from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, outside almost all major railway stations in most of the states including some of the regional headquarters and RAIL BHAWAN at New Delhi against the move by the Modi government for privatisation of 109 rail routes, ban on recruitments, privatisation of Railway Stations, railway production units through corporatisation route etc in the shield of lock down. The Govt has already allowed 100% FDI in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric works and dedicated freight lines.

Massive protest actions were held in almost all major railway stations keeping the physical distancing and other WHO norms. Apart from CITU leaders and activists, activists of other organisations of peasantry and youth, common people as well as large number of railway employees joined the demonstrations in many places, declaring that Railway privatisation is not just the concern of railway employees only. The massive participation in spite of the short notice, shows the possibility of a wider movement under the leadership of the working class in the coming days in defence of Indian Railways. It is encouraging to see a large number of women workers and workers cutting across different sectors from IT to street vendors joined the protest to save the national asset.

CITU calls upon the working class of India to join enmasse in the united struggle of defiance, non-cooperation and resistance called upon by the central trade unions against the  mass-scale privatisation, labour law changes/suspension and other attacks on the working people including the peasantry by the Govt, dubiously taking advantage of the lockdown-restrictions and  also pressing for the basic demands of the people for lives and livelihood.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union and All India Kisan Sabha strongly condemns the sinister move by the BJP Government to tamper with the school syllabus under the pretext of COVID-19 Pandemic and Lockdown. Pursuing the Sangh Parivar line of undermining the Indian Constitution, Secularism, Federalism and democratic rights, the HRD Ministry through CBSE and NCERT are trying to bring in drastic changes. CBSE has completely deleted sections on Citizenship, Nationalism, Secularism, and Federalism as well as on topics like democratic rights, people’s struggles, new social movements, Planning Commission, Five Year Plans, food security, diversity, gender, religion and caste etc. Many other relevant topics have also been set aside. The CBSE clarification that it is a one-time move to reduce the burden of students is untenable given that the topics set aside are part of the basic features of the Constitution. There have been similar moves to communalise education many times and it is part of a clear design.

The BJP government claims that it has decided to cut short the syllabus to compensate for the academic days lost due to the lockdown. The HRD Minister has claimed it is as part of rationalization of syllabus by up to 30 percent while retaining the “core” concepts. It is only a continuation of their policy of distorting history and communalization of education. It is indicative of the political agenda of the BJP and Sangh Parivar and the fact that basic features of the Indian Constitution and democracy are no longer seen as relevant “core” concepts by them.

CITU, AIAWU and AIKS demand the immediate scrapping of the decision and to restore the actual core concepts in the NCERT text books. We extend solidarity with the students’ community and teachers as well as their organisations who have come out against this move.

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

Monday, 06 July 2020 15:38

Red Salute to Com.A.K.Lal

CITU Secretariat is deeply grieved at the sudden demise of Com.A.K.Lal, a prominent CITU leader of the Chhattisgarh state, today on 6th July 2020, at around 2.30.P.M after prolonged ailment. He was 67.

Com.A.K.Lal was actively associated with the trade union movement since mid 1970’s and played important role in developing CITU movement in both united Madhya Pradesh and subsequently in Chhattisgarh. He had been the senior state committee member of CITU in united Madhya Pradesh; subsequently after formation of Chhattisgarh Com.A.K.Lal played important role in consolidating the CITU work and the CITU state committee in Chhattisgarh state in various capacities like Vice-President, Dy.General Secretary, President and General Secretary of Chhattisgarh state CITU. From the last conference of CITU he got himself relieved of the responsibilities of state General Secretary owing to health reasons.

Com.A.K.Lal joined the trade union movement in his early youth as an employee of Life Insurance Corporation and played important role in the insurance employees’ movement he was the founder of the Raipur Division Insurance Employees’ Association and the Central Zone Insurance Employees’ Association.

He had been Working Committee Member / General Council Member of CITU for decades till the 16th conference of CITU. The demise of Com.A.K.Lal is a big loss to the trade union movement. CITU secretariat deeply mourns the demise of Com.A.K.Lal and remembers his great contribution in trade union movement and conveys heartfelt condolence to his comrades and bereaved members of his family.

Red Salute to Com.A.K.Lal.  

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions congratulates 5.3 lakh coal workers for their total strike action in all the collieries and establishments of the country on the 2nd July 2020—on the first day of the three days strike call on 2-4 July 2020, given by the joint platform of all the unions and federations of the coal workers in the country.

Three days Strike call was given to combat the destructive move of the Govt at the centre to privatise the country’s coal industry and promote commercial mining and trading of coal by private sector including foreign entities, it being disastrous for the country’s energy security and productive operation of the country’s industrial economy as a whole. The all in united strike-struggle by the workers is not for their own demands but for defending the vital interest of the national economy, its coal resources and the public sector coal industry. And in this strike action, both the regular workers and also contract workers of the industry have participated enmasse.

In all the subsidiary companies under Coal India Ltd viz., Eastern Coalfields Ltd(ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL), Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), North Eastern Coalfields Ltd (NECL) and CMPDIL and also in Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) strike was near total. In ECL, strike witnessed participation of above 90 per cent workers owing to opposition of state govt sponsored TMC affiliated hoodlums with the support of local police. Many striking workers, leaders and activities were manhandled and arrested. Yet the strike cannot be broken owing to determination of the workers enmasse. In the other companies and establishments  throughout the country, there was hundred per cent strike.

Coal workers massive strike is the first ever countrywide sectoral strike action during the lockdown period determined to defy and resist the dubious move of the Govt to push through its  wholesale privatization project of putting the national assets and PSUs on the auction in favour of handful of private corporate, both foreign and domestic. And this has, no doubt shown the way to the trade union movement as a whole and particularly in those sectors where privatization is being attempted by the Modi Govt on how to combat and resist such destructive exercise, in the interest of the workers, people and the nation.

Strike by coal workers will continue on 3rd and 4th July as well and the joint platform of federations and unions would be planning their further action to defeat this destructive game-plan of privatization and they can definitely do so.

CITU again congratulates the coal workers and their joint platform of unions and federations for the successful strike action to continue for two more days.     

Issued by
(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary 

CITU strongly denounces the invitation of Request For Qualification (RFQ) extended to the private corporates, Indian and foreign, for operating passenger train services over 109 pairs of stations. It condemns this anti national move of the Modi government to put Indian Railways, the pride of India and its precious wealth, on sale. It is appalling that the government chose the lockdown period to fast track this anti national policy.

These 109 pairs of high speed trains have been formed into 12 clusters to run across the Indian Railway network, by the drivers and guards of Indian Railways. The other employees will be of the private operators. Private operators will be responsible for procuring, operating and maintaining the trains and safety of the passengers.

Already the BJP government has permitted 100% FDI in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric workers and dedicated freight lines. In the name of redevelopment of railway stations it has started handing over the railway stations along with the huge amounts of real estate to the private corporates. The motive of the private players will be maximising profits, not providing cheap mode of transport to the people. Rather mass of the people availing railway transport will be subjected to heavier burden of unaffordable railway fares.

The government claims of Rs 30000 crore investment and employment generation has no meaning as the drainage due to loss of revenue to the Indian Railways in these revenue generating routes and high speed trains will more than neutralise the said hypothetical figure. The employment lost due to privatisation of our production units, the Jewels of Indian Railways, in the railway workshops, in maintenance units etc will be many times more than the employment created by the private players. Most of the jobs that will be created will be precarious jobs, not permanent jobs with decent wages and social security.

While condemning this fast tracking privatisation of Indian Railways, taking advantage of the lockdown, CITU calls upon the major railway employees’ unions to take the initiative to build strong struggle of resistance and defiance to this anti people and anti national move of the BJP government.

The Coal Workers have already shown the way of such defiance and resistance to move for privatisation of the coal sector through the massive and total three days’ strike on 2-4 July 2020. The defence employees too have made their readiness to resist and defy privatisation of the defence sector, 99.9% expressing their support to go on strike in their strike ballot.  

CITU calls upon the entire trade union movement and the working class and people at large to join together to stiffly resist the move of privatising and selling off Indian Railways to benefit the profit hungry corporates, domestic and foreign.

(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

 

Thousands of Midday Meal workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in our country, today came out to protest against their poor conditions of work and to demand wages during lock down period, better remuneration etc, at the call of the Midday Meal Workers Federation of India (CITU). In most of the states, including Karnataka, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, AP, Kerala, Manipur, Chhattisgarh and UP they protested and submitted memoranda to the local authorities, which were also forwarded to the Health and Education Ministers at state and central level.

The government of India is paying a pittance of RS.1000 per month that too only for ten months to around 27 lakh of these workers who extend service in this scheme which is crucial for the country’s future. They are engaged for distribution of dry ration to the school going children. In the present scenario this work is very important for the children who are the future of our country. In so many states, mid-day-meal workers are put on duty in the shelter homes and also in isolation centers. They are neither paid for this job nor provided any safety kits and protective gears which are very essential. Many have been infected and some have died. They are not covered under the insurance scheme.

DEMANDS

  1. During the Corona Pandemic period the mid-day-meal workers should be paid Rs. 7500 per month.
  2. All the mid-day-meal workers’ family must be provided with 10kg food grains and all essentials per person.
  3. The mdm workers working in shelter homes or isolation centres should paid Rs. 600 per day.
  4. Remuneration should be paid regularly for 12 months in a year.
  5. Pending regularisation, minimum wages Rs. 24000per month should be paid to MDM workers.
  6. The mid-day-meal workers should be regularised as workers and they should paid minimum wage and pension at the time of retirement as per the recommendation of 45th ILC.
  7. All children including the children of the returned migrants to be given ration in enhanced quantity.
  8. MNREGA workers should be provide lunch at the work place. Mid-day-meal workers should also be given work under MNREGA. The workers can prepare lunch at the site and they should be paid for this.

Issued by CITU Centre

Thousands of ASHA workers and facilitators, and other frontline health workers in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in our country, today came out to protest against their conditions of work and to demand public better health services for the people, at the call of the All India Coordination Committee of ASHA Workers (CITU).  In most of the states, including Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, AP and Kerala they protested at the PHCs, CHCs etc and submitted memoranda to the local authorities, which were also forwarded to the Health Ministers at state and central level.

Considering the arduous and risky nature of their work, going door to door to survey the population for Covid 19 infections, and guiding the public about safety measures, they are not even provided the necessary protective gear. Many have been infected and several have died.

They submitted a 14 point demand charter which included that the public health services be improved, that there should be no privatization of these,  and that the budgetary allocation for health be increased to 6% of the GDP. They demanded that they be regularized as health workers and be given adequate payment for their work, an allowance for COVID related work, free medical treatment and  insurance, including the Rs 50 lakh insurance.

Frontline health and sanitation workers in many states also came out in support of these demands. 

DEMANDS

  1. Regualrise ASHA Workers and all NHM workers as permanent workers, pay minimum wages and ensure social security and pension as per recommendations of the 45th and 46th ILC
  2. Safety gear for all frontline workers, especially those in the health sector; PPEs for those who are engaged in containment areas and red/containment zone
  3. Frequent, random and free Covid-19 test of all frontline workers
  4. Rs Fifty lakhs insurance cover to all frontline workers covering all deaths on duty; also coverage of treatment for Covid-19 for the entire family.
  5. Additional incentive of Rs.25,000 per month for all the contract and scheme workers engaged in Covid -19 duty. Payment of all the pending dues of ASHA workers immediately
  6. Compensation of minimum Rupees Five lakhs for all those who got infected while on duty
  7. Provide free and adequate COVID tests and treatment to all non tax paying people.
  8. Ensure adequate facilities in quarantine centres and hospitals.
  9. Free ration /food for all the needy and Rs.7500 per month for all non taxpaying families for six months
  10. Strengthen the public health system and the health infrastructure.
  11. Allocate 6% of GDP for health sector;
  12. Withdraw  proposals for privatization of public health infrastructure and services
  13. Enact legislation for right to universal healthcare
  14. Make NHM a permanent health programme of the government, with universal application and adequate financial allocation. 

We wait for a favourable response from the concerned authorities and will intensify our struggle if this is not forthcoming.

Ranjana Nirula
Convenor

The Central Trade Unions extend full support to the Strike call given by all Unions and Federations active in the coal industry in all places of activities in the coal sector for three days on 2nd,3rd,and 4th July 2020. The Unions/Federations have served the strike notice on 18th June 2020. We congratulate them for organizing the protest simultaneously while serving the strike notice on 18th June to the respective managements.

Their two day protest on 10th and 11th June 2020 did not deter the Government to review its decision of commercial mining, privatization and decision to de-link CMPDI from CIL among other demands .Rather Prime Minister himself came forward to launch the process of auction on 18th June, which was announced on 11th June, hence the decision of unions to choose this day to protest and give strike notice.

The fact of the matter is that even the earlier auctioned and allotted coal blocks could not be started as per schedule period which need to be cancelled immediately.

The unions have raised five demands in:

  1. Withdraw the decision of Commercial Mining in Coal Industry
  2. Stop all steps towards weakening or privatization of CIL or SCCL
  3. Withdraw decision to De-link CMPDIL from CIL
  4. Enforce HPC/CIL enhanced wages to contract workers in CIL and SCCL
  5. Implement the clause 9.3.0, 9.4.0 and 9.5.0 of National Coal Wage Agreement

The Coal unions and the CTUs have been opposing the Government policy of 100 percent FDI in Coal sector. We call upon all our respective state chapters to extend their solidarity support to this agitation to defend this core public sector in the national interest and for our nation’s self reliance in this sector.

INTUC              AITUC                    HMS                    CITU                 AIUTUC            

TUCC                SEWA                      AICCTU             LPF                    UTUC

The centre of Indian Trade Unions welcomes the joint decision by all the federations and unions of workers to go in for three days countrywide strike on 2-4 July 2020 in all coal mines and establishments in the country demanding scrapping of the Govt decision to allow commercial mining of coal by private sector including foreign entities, separating CMPDIL from Coal India Ltd and the move to privatise public sector coal mining companies in the process. 

CITU has been voicing its vehement opposition to the destructive decision of Govt of India to allow commercial mining of coal by private players including foreign entities. This is linked with the Govt decision to allow 100 per cent FDI in coal sector. Such retrograde decisions are aimed  at completely reversing the nationalisation of coal mining in national interest in the 1970s to ensure energy security of the country; this will also pave the way for ultimate privatization of  public sector coal industry.  The whole process of commercial mining of coal by private sector including by foreign entities is also aimed at  gradually handing over the control and trading of this vital natural resources like coal, completely ignoring its essential needs both for country’s industrial network and common consumers. This is going to have severe damaging impact on the self reliance of the country’s economy as well.

CITU congratulates the coal workers and their federations/unions for their determination to resist such destructive move of the Govt of India and extends all support to their joint decision for three-days strike action on 2-4 July 2020 in defence of the public sector coal industry and in defence of the self reliance of the country.   

CITU also calls upon the entire working class movement irrespective of affiliations to stand and act in support of the striking workers of the coal industry.

Issued by
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

A joint meeting of the central leadership of All India Kisan Sabha, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union and Centre of Indian Trade Unions was held on 9 June 2020 at B T Ranadive Bhawan, New Delhi. The meeting discussed in detail the current situation of acute distress in the country due to the economic crisis, Covid-19 pandemic, the lock down and the policies and measurers by the BJP government led by Modi.

The meeting took serious note of the aggressive measures to complete the neoliberal process taking advantage of the lockdown – paradigm shift in agricultural economy, finishing off peasant agriculture to benefit the landlord corporate clique through ordinances, endangering food security; near total elimination of public sector; totally liberalised FDI in crucial and strategic sectors of the economy finishing off our self reliance; annulment of all labour laws to impose slavery on the working class and so on. Instead of taking effective measures to contain the pandemic, the BJP government is aggressively trying to centralise entire governance through authoritarian measures and fascistic intent. At the same time RSS led forces are communalising even the Corona pandemic.

The lockdown has created a situation of reverse migration, acute unemployment, deepening absolute poverty and total lack of health facilities, particularly in the country side. It is only the LDF government in Kerala, which has been making internationally acclaimed efforts in containing Covid 19 but also addressing the issues of migrant workers as an alternative to the neoliberal policies.

The discontent of the people against the government is growing, which is reflected in their participation in the independent and joint calls of each sector against the policies of the government. The actions called by CITU on 21 April, 1 May, 14 May and 30 May and by the joint platform of central trade unions on 22 May 2020, the Kisan Samman Diwas on 16 May and protest on 27 May 2020 by the AIKSSCC and the All India protest Day on 4 June 2020 by the AIAWU received magnificent response.

It was decided that AIKS and AIAWU will support the calls of the CTUs, of all India protest day on 3 July 2020 and for non cooperation and defiance.

In this situation, the meeting concluded that there was an urgent need for joint, more direct and visible movements at all levels, especially at the grass root level on burning issues of the people in general, which must be stepped up to combative countrywide united struggles against the anti-people, anti-farmer, anti-worker neoliberal policy regime. There must be more countrywide struggles with series of local struggles preceding and succeeding it.

The meeting decided to launch a nationwide joint campaign on the major immediate demands of the people - health, food, income and employment along with others, highlighting the following demands:

  • Free universal healthcare for all
  • 10kg Free food grains per person per month to all for 6 months
  • Rs.7500 per month for all non tax- paying families for next six months
  • 200 days work in MNREGA @Rs600/- as wages per day or unemployment allowance; Enact and implement urban employment guarantee
  • Rescinding the Ordinances/executive orders on Essential Commodities, Farm Trade,  Electricity Act and Labour Laws' 

It is also decided to address the issues of migrant workers on priority basis.

On these demands, CITU, AIKS and AIAWU who have organised many militant independent and joint struggles in the past including the Kisan Long March in Maharashtra, Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally in front of Parliament on 5 September 2018 to name a few, will conduct joint campaign to culminate in massive militant actions

Ø  joint campaign up to village level during June – July 2020

Ø  Local/village/sub-divisional level action and mobilisations on 23 July 2020

Ø  Massive countrywide militant mobilisation and action on 9 August 2020

We will strive to develop massive joint struggles of the trade unions, peasant organisations and organisations of various class mass and social organisations against these anti-national policies in the coming days.

Issued by                                                   

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

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