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CITU is deeply shocked at the killing of 16 migrant workers who were killed by a fast moving goods train, while sleeping on the railway tracks, early this morning near a village in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. CITU expresses its condolence and heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families. Two more people were critically injured.

This accident did not happen just like that. It is a reflection of the misgovernance and policy failure of the BJP government led by Modi.   Losing their jobs, distressed and hungry these workers, working for a steel plant in Jalna near Aurangabad started to their native place in Madhya Pradesh, walking along the railway track.  It is reported that exhausted, they lied down and went into sleep on the railway tracks when they were killed.

CITU condemns the failure of the BJP government led by Modi in arranging adequate number of trains to transport all the migrant workers who want to go to their native places to be with their families during the distress created by the lockdown. CITU points out that it is these workers who contribute substantially for running the wheels of the economy and the country. Yet, the government treats them with such apathy and disdain.  

CITU demands adequate compensation by the government of India to the families of those killed and to those injured.

CITU also demands of Modi government for an immediate meeting with the central trade unions on migrant workers’ issues arising out of Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.    

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns the cancellation of train services slated to start from Bangalore for return of the migrant workers, at the instance of the BJP led State Govt in Karnataka. The State Govt requested the Indian Railways to cancel all the 10 trains from Banaglore to Danapur in Bihar, scheduled to run on the next five days for return of the migrant workers. Accordingly the trains were declared withdrawn on 5-5-2020 by the Principal Secretary to Govt of Karnataka, Department of Revenue, who is also the Nodal Officer for Migrant Workers vide his communication no RD-184-PRS-2020 as reported by media.

It is further reported that the Chief Minister of the BJP State Govt of Karnataka has decided to cancel the scheduled train services for return of the migrant workers, after a meeting with the representatives of Employers’ Association, particularly the Real Estate Developers.

CITU considers such a move inhuman and cruel. The migrant workers were subjected to unimaginable miseries and hunger, not being paid by most of the employers during the 40 days’ lockdown period. The state Govt did little to give any relief to the majority of the migrant workforce.  And now the same employers community does not want the workers to go back to their home state and the BJP led state government is readily obliging the capitalist lobby in their cruel game-plan. 

The entire exercise is also a reflection of utter hypocrisy. The BJP Govt at the centre, after lot of pressure, has ultimately agreed to run to Shramik Special trains for return of migrant workers and after lot of bungling agreed to bear the 85% cost of journey by Indian Railways. Now, the BJP Govt of Karnataka refuses to send the migrant workers back home, at the dictates of the capitalist lobby. Aren’t the reluctance and the refusal part of a single exercise?

While denouncing such cancellation of train services for return of migrant workers from Bangalore, CITU strongly apprehends the possibility of similar retrograde moves in some other states also. We cannot accept such game-plan lying down.

CITU demands upon the Central Govt to get the scheduled train services from Karnataka for the migrant workers resumed and not to allow similar cancellation in other states since such return of migrant workers must be construed as part of disaster management under the concerned Act.

CITU and other trade unions in Karnataka and Bihar have already started protesting such cruel injustice against the migrant workers. We call upon the working class movement in the entire country to unitedly protest against such measures.  

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

Sir,

We have been drawing your attention through our letters to you and also the Labour Minister to the plight of the working people - rural and urban, organized and unorganized sector, self employed, own account workers, gig economy and agricultural workers etc. who lost their livelihood due to sudden lockdown. We have been raising the issues time and again that in crisis situation the buffer stocks of FCI be opened to feed all working masses universally without requirement of any cards/ documents. But from our ground reports even those who are the card holders of categories such as Antyodaya – BPL-APL,  they are not covered fully. In our understanding enough is yet not accomplished for ration to reach everybody. We again urge you to please open the huge Anna Bhandaar available with FCI for all these people.

All the workers working in different other states or in the far off districts/locations within the state far from their villages are now exhausted financially and mentally with no cash and nothing at all in their hands wherever they are stranded. In such a situation, to make them pay for their  rail fare to travel back to their homes is the height of insensitivity to their plight.

We also take objection to the latest order from the Ministry of Home Affairs dated 3rd May stating that the government will facilitate the movement  only of those stranded workers who had gone to work or from work place to hometown just before lockdown but could not return to their  native places/work places on account of restrictions placed on movement of persons and vehicles as part of lock down measures. We take it as discriminatory as no restrictions can be put on the movement of the migrant workers making it time conditional on all those who are desperate to visit their families. Moreover no one would be interested in un-necessary travel as there are fears of getting infected from Covid-19 virus.

We urge upon you to please appreciate and appropriately intervene and ensure for their return to home without charging any fares from them in trains and the public transport in roadways.

These workers are already in distress and they should not be pushed into further miseries.

We hope you would immediately take cognizance in the matter and take appropriate urgent decision in favour of these migrant/ stranded workers.

There is urgent need for cash support also for the working people for their survival related requirements and have been urging for about Rs.7500/- per month to be transferred to all the needy(non income tax paying) households for a period of three months at least irrespective of   the Women Jan Dhan Yojna with about 20 crore registered (coverage of less than 5 crores families only) and among them also substantial number of accounts have been deactivated .We urge you for your immediate attention for this cash transfer demand to be accepted by the government.

We know that big organized sector is in position to make wage payments till the sector restarts its production as per government advisory (which is being flouted by many amongst them and we have been bringing to the notice of Ministry of Labour for enforcement intervention without any result yet), but the MSME sector are in real difficulties and need to be supported. We strongly opine that there is need to subsidise the sector for wage payment of the workers for at least three months to come and that aspect needs to be considered.

We take this opportunity to urge you to immediately cancel all unnecessary projects such as “New Parliament Complex”, provisions made for NPR, so that funds are available where needed urgently.

Thanking you
Yours sincerely

INTUC                     AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                       AIUTUC

TUCC                SEWA                      AICCTU                     LPF                    UTUC

Dear Prime Minister Sir,

The trade union movement has been demanding since the beginning of the lockdown period to arrange for return of the stranded migrant workers from different parts of the country to their home states through special trains and other means of transportation, depending on the distance to be travelled. This had become the urgent necessity since following lockdown, crores of migrant workers scattered all over the country were thrown into unimaginable miseries, as they have lost their jobs, earnings and having been evicted from their residences, they find themselves a non-entity, despite being the most productive workforce in industries and services both in unorganized and organized sector. And such a situation had also arisen owing to Govt directives through both Home Ministry’s and Labour Ministry’s Orders on non-termination of employment, full payment of wages and non-eviction from respective staying places during the lockdown period were allowed to be desperately violated by the authorities concerned to the advantage of the employers and landlords.

Although quite late, resulting in so many casualties among the destitute workers and their family members, we welcome the recent move of the Govt on the eve of third phase of lockdown in the matter of arranging special trains for the movement of stranded migrant workers as noted in abovementioned orders of the Railway Ministry.

At the same time we like to point out that it is totally unjust, rather a cruelty to make stranded migrant workers pay the train fare for availing those special trains to return to their home states. These workers, through the process of 38 days lockdown have lost everything they had and have been passing days in virtual starvation, many along with their family members.

Therefore, CITU urges upon you to please intervene so that the 1)stranded migrant workers are allowed to travel Shramik Special Trains free of cost and central govt must bear the financial responsibility, 2) workers on movement in trains should be provided food, safety gears and medical attendance, 3) Such Shramik Special Trains are provided for all destinations wherefrom the migrant workers have come to serve in other states simultaneously and such movement process of the stranded workers should not suffer owing to laxity from any end either from central govts or state govts- both the state of origination and the recipient states.

With regards,
Yours sincerely,
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary 

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 11:02

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