CITU Communique

16TH June 2014

CITU COMMUNIQUE

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions issued the following communiqué after the meeting of its National Secretariat in New Delhi on 14-15 June 2014.

The CITU Secretariat reviewed the post-poll situation in the country particularly in respect of the issues facing the mass of the working people and the national economy.

Campaign against TMC attacks on the people and the Left in West Bengal

The continued brutal attacks and intimidation on the Left parties and supporters including the common people by the Trinamool Congress hoodlums with the active patronage of the state administration in West Bengal is a matter of serious concern. The number of Left cadres killed after the election results were declared is increasing with every passing day. Many CITU offices have been attacked and ransacked. CITU cadres are bravely resisting and holding their ground despite such attacks in which many of them were grievously injured. CITU calls upon the working class in general and the CITU unions in particular to hold widespread solidarity campaigns throughout the country against such nefarious attack on the democratic people and the Left in West Bengal.

Renewed initiative for united struggle by trade unions

The national economy is in a serious crisis with continuing price-rise, aggravating unemployment, widespread industrial sickness and rampant closure/shutdown of industrial units throwing thousands of workers out of livelihood. The onslaught on the workers’ earnings, their social security and trade union rights continues to be widespread with the employers violating all basic labour laws with impunity.

It is a matter of satisfaction that in this situation all the central trade unions have expressed their determination to stay united on the common demands of the workers and submitted a joint memorandum to the Union Finance Minister in the pre-budget consultation meeting held on 6th June 2014. They have unitedly urged for a clear directional change in the policies that were pursued by the previous regime, landing the people and the economy in the present crisis. There is an urgent for renewed initiative and intervention by the entire trade union movement in the country in defence of the rights and livelihood of the workers taking forward the united movement of the last five years.

Immediate issues for concrete action by the Govt

The Central Board of Trustees of EPF unanimously agreed to enhance the minimum amount of pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme and to enhance the ceiling on eligibility criteria under the EPF scheme to Rs 15000 with effect from 1st April 2014, which was approved by the then Union Cabinet in February 2014. The present government must immediately issue the notification in this matter. The government must also implement without delay the unanimous recommendations of successive sessions of the Indian Labour Conference, the highest tripartite forum of the country, on 1)enhancing the statutory minimum wage, 2)universalisation of social security including pension and recognising the workers under various central government schemes, viz. anganwadi employees, mid day meal workers, ASHAs, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan etc, as workers with attendant rights to statutory minimum wages, social security benefits and the right to organise and also 3) same wages and benefits as regular workers to the contract workers doing the same and similar jobs.

Imminent dangers and attacks on labour rights

The reported moves of the Modi government to deregulate financial sector of the economy including banks and insurance, allow enhanced FDI in Defence Sector and push through the further disinvestment/privatization of the blue-chip public sector units in the most strategic and sensitive sector of the economy, cause serious concern. These retrograde moves are in no way in the interests either of the country’s economy or the people at large and must be opposed resolutely by the trade union movement.

The BJP led Rajasthan government is reportedly taking measures to bring about drastic pro-employer changes in Industrial Disputes Act, Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act and Factories Act –all aimed at empowering the employers to retrench workers at will, delinking the contract labour from the concerned establishment and relieving the principal employers from all responsibilities, and pushing more than fifty per cent of the factories and their workers out of the purview and protection of any labour law. CITU strongly denounces these anti worker moves. This is a signal of similar anti-worker measures being initiated at the national level by the central government in the days to come. Trade union movement must prepare itself to fight back and resist such anti-people and anti-worker designs.

CITU General Council meeting

CITU will hold the meeting of its General Council in Bellary in Karnataka on 11-14 July 2014 to discuss its future course of action. 460 members from all over the country are expected to participate in the meeting. The National Secretariat finalised the contours of the report to be presented to the General Council and the preparatory work by the reception committee.

                                                                                       

                                                                                                        TAPAN SEN

                                                                                                        General Secretary

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