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The Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) conducted a three month-long campaign, propaganda, and State / Regional level mobilization on the following demands.

Further massive signature campaign throughout the Rural and Urban India was also conducted under the banner ‘PETITION TO SPEAKER, LOK SABHA WITH ONE CRORE SIGNATURES’

The demands are as under:

To stop the merger of Building and Other Construction Workers Act (BOCW Act) providing Social Welfare Scheme:

(a) Pension (b) Accidental Compensation ( c ) House Building Loan/ Assistance (d) Maternity Benefit (e) Children Education Allowance/ Assistant (f) Minor / Major Medical Operation Assistant (g) Safety & Health - Provision implementation throughout the country.

Today around 15 thousands Construction Workers organized a huge demonstration at Parliament Street, New Delhi coming from all over the country covering the southernmost state of Kerala, the northeastern states of Assam, Tripura, The Western State of Maharashtra, the eastern major West Bengal and of course the entire range of northern States.

Prominent among the Speakers included Tapan Sen – General Secretary, CITU, Members of Parliament, T. K. Rangarajan, E. Kareem, A. M. Arif & all CPI(M) MPs, M. Shanmugham, MP,DMK & General Secretary - LPF, Sukhbir Singh – President, CWFI, V. Sasikumar – General Secretary, CWFI, Debanjan Chakrabarti – Vice-President, CWFI, Swadesh Dev Roye & A. R. Sindhu, Secretaries, CITU. 

A 5 member delegation led by the President and General Secretary of CWFI went to the speaker of the Lok Sabha in his chamber at Parliament House and presented the petition on which signatures were collected from all over the country.

Today, 28th November, the  nationwide strike action has been successfully carried out by the workers of BPCL, HPCL and ONGC (MRPL) Refineries and Marketing operations under the banner of the National Federations of Oil & Petroleum Workers with the participation of around 30,000 regular and contract workers from the  fifty work-place level affiliates of these Federations. The huge magnitude of the strike has clearly demonstrated the determination of the workers to stop the Modi Government’s move to privatise BPCL and HPCL. The workers have participated in the strike braving the threat and intimidation by Modi Government and prohibitory orders obtained by the managements at behest of ruling dispensation through various High Courts.

In Kerala Kochi Refinery it was complete strike.  1250 permanent employees and 6356 Contract Workers were on Strike.  The total workers in the Marketing operations of BPCL, HPCL and IOCL in all the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh participated in the strike in full strength. Tanker Lorry Workers also joined the strike. In Mangalore Refinery (MRPL) the permanent and contract workers numbering around 5,000 were on strike.  HPCL refinery at Vizag workers organized a March and Demonstration. At the Refinery Main Gate at Numaligarh (Assam) regular and contract workers staged a huge demonstration in support of the strike.

At the call of CITU, AITUC, INTUC, HMS, TUCC etc, workers participated in large numbers in the solidarity mobilization and black-badge wearing throughout the state of Kerala.

In Mumbai Refinery and Marketing operation in Western Region the sweep of the strike was unprecedented. Several thousands of striking workers of the Refinery and Marketing including the Corporate Centre assembled in front of BPCL Refinery gate, Chembur and organized a Long March and assembled in a big public meeting at Chembur Rail Station. The biggest Bottling Plant of Asia situated in the Region at Uran, near Mumbai had to be shut down due to the impact of the strike.

All workers in the Bottling Plants, Bulk Storage Installations and Regional Headquarters of the Northern and Eastern Regions, overwhelmingly, took part in the strike covering around 45 different location  spreading  across  the states of NCR, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal, Uttarakhand, UP, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar etc.  The striking workers from Delhi and nearby states organized a Dharna at Jantar Mantar and they were addressed by several M.Ps and Central Trade Union Leaders.

This historical strike action has become a precursor to adopt decisive Action Programme to stop privatization of BPCL, HPCL and MRPL (ONGC) in the already scheduled next National Convention of Oil & Petroleum Workers at Kolkata to be held on 22nd December, 2019 and reassuring the massive participation of entire Oil and Petroleum Sector workers in the forthcoming 8th January 2020 All India General Strike.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Central Trade Unions express their strong protest and utter annoyance at the disastrous decisions of the Government of the day to Privatise excellently run cash rich CPSUs. Paths pronounced are out right Privatisation, partial but effective privatisation by divesting up to 76 per cent of the Government Equity of the concern CPSUs. According to the decision, BPCL, CONCOR and Shipping Corporation will be sold out to private companies. Further, NTPC is being directed by the Government to buy out NEEPCO and THDC.

Apart from the above CPSUs, the other targets of privatisation onslaught are, reportedly, Indian Oil (current government stake 51.5 per cent), NTPC (54.50 per cent), Bharat Electronics (58.83 per cent), BEML (54.03 per cent), Engineers India (52 per cent), GAIL (52.66 per cent) and National Aluminium Co (52 per cent).

The Central Trade Unions note with indignation that the recent economic ‘bailout packages’ presented by the Government mainly to benefit the big business houses shall cost the Exchequer of the country a huge amount of Rs.1.45 lakh crore. More such packages are under consideration of the Government. Now to make good the revenue loss, the Government has resorted to selling out CPSUs with huge physical and financial assets. Shockingly the Government is turning blind eye to the fact that privatization of CPSUs is bound to inflict revenue loss on account of loss of huge amount of taxes, duties and dividend payment by these CPSUs.

The Central Trade Unions urge upon the Government to reverse the decision of Privatisation of CPSUs. The Central Trade Unions extend full support to the decision of the BPCL Workers to launch one day token strike on 28th November, 2019. They have been conducting various campaign, propaganda and agitation activities to make the strike a grand success.

The Central Trade Unions appeal to the all CPSU workers irrespective of affiliation to organise protest action against the above mentioned shocking decision of the Government. Given the aggressive desperation of the Government to eliminate public sector from the economic map of India, it is felt that the need of the hour is to urgently activate the United Platform of CPSU Worker to chalk out appropriate Nationwide long-drawn struggles. 

Thursday, 21 November 2019 08:36

Oil & Petroleum Workers Convention

  • Strike in BPCL, HPCL & MRPL on 28th November
  • To participate in the countrywide General Strike on 8th January

A National Convention of Oil & Petroleum Workers was held at the Constitution Club, Speakers’ Hall, New Delhi on 20th November 2019. It was jointly organized by the Trade Unions of different affiliations as well as the unaffiliated ones functioning in ONGC, IOC, OIL, BPCL and HPCL. Around 300 workers representatives from these oil PSUs from all over the country participated in the convention. The Delegates came from the states of Assam, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and National Capital of Delhi.

The inaugural address was delivered by G. Sanjeeva Reddy, President, INTUC. General Secretary AITUC Amarjeet Kaur also addressed the convention. I M Uniyal, N A Khanvilkar and Nogen Chutia, the General Secretaries of the three apex federations functioning in the oil PSUs, namely: All India Petroleum Workers’ Federation (AIPWF), National Federation of Petroleum Workers (NFPW) and Petroleum & Gas Workers’ Federation of India (PGWFI) respectively constituted the presidium and also addressed the convention.

The Declaration of the Convention was presented by Swadesh Dev Roye, National Secretary, CITU. Around 15 Delegates participated in the discussion and the Declaration was adopted unanimously. The Declaration captured quite exhaustively facts and figures exposing the policy bankruptcy of the Government, its persuasion of crony capitalism and its subservience to foreign oil MNCs. It also noted the adverse impact of the privatization to the country in terms of economy, national security, corporate social responsibility,  employment and democratic trade union rights. The convention condemned the Government for the suicidal decision of privatization of oil PSUs.  

Members of Parliament: Elamaram Kareem, K.K. Ragesh, K. Somaprasad, A.M. Ariff  from CPI(M ), Binoy Viswam, CPI, Hibi Eden, Congress Party,  Anil Desai and Gajanan Kirtikar, Shiva Sena addressed the convention.

The Convention reiterated the decision of the last Mumbai Convention held on 26th October 2019 of Strike Action on 28th November 2019 by BPCL, HPCL and MRPL workers and noted that preparation for the nationwide strike is going on very well. All the concerned unions have already served Notice of Strike. Strike preparatory Campaign, Propaganda and Agitation in the oil PSUs throughout the country going in full swing. Further the convention also called upon the oil & petroleum workers to intensify campaign, propaganda and agitation towards preparation for the 8th January 2020 nationwide General Strike called by the central trade unions. The next National Convention is decided to be held at Kolkata on 22nd December 2019.

Swadesh Dev Roye

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly condemns the brutal police attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ peaceful march to the Parliament on Monday that left at least 15 students grievously injured, including a visually-impaired student, demanding total roll-back of exorbitant hostel fees hike. They have been struggling for a month now, against these hefty fees hike which has become a virtual “rustication” order for students with family income below Rs.144000 who make up 40% of the student population in JNU.

CITU extends its solidarity and support to the struggling JNU students and calls upon its units to condemn the high-handedness of Delhi police, controlled by Modi regime and the insensitivity of University administration towards the plight of our poor and marginalized students studying in JNU. CITU urges upon the Central Government and HRD Ministry to initiate the discussion with them and to settle amicably at the earliest.  

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses deep concern at the mass retrenchments of employees in the IT sector. IT majors like Cognizant, Infosys, and Capgemini have reportedly announced retrenchment of thousands of workers. While Capgemini has already laid off around 5000 workers, Cognizant is reported to be laying off 7000 of its workers. Infosys announced that around 10% of its employees at different levels, 2200 at senior manager level and around 4000-10000 at the associate and middle level will be fired.

All these IT multinational companies have been earning huge profits and there is no reason to retrench employees. The firing operations are being taken up on the pretexts of ‘growth plans’, ‘restructuring’, ‘role rationalisation’ etc, which are nothing but measures to maximise their profits at the cost of employees.

It is highly regrettable that the BJP government at the centre as well as the different state governments have remained silent spectators to this illegal firing of employees.

CITU commends the IT employees in different states, who are resisting these illegal measures of IT companies and are gradually getting organised to collectively fight this injustice.

CITU demands the government at the Centre as well as the concerned State governments to stop this illegal retrenchment of IT employees and take measures to protect them. It reiterates its support and solidarity to the IT employees and urges upon them to continue their collective resistance.

CITU also calls upon all its members and state committees to strongly oppose the illegal retrenchments by the IT multinational companies and stand in support of the IT employees.

Issued by
Hemalata
President

Thursday, 31 October 2019 07:17

Homage to Comrade Gurudas Dasgupta  

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) is deeply grieved on the passing away of Comrade Gurudas Dasgupta, the veteran trade union leader of the country and eminent parliamentarian for decades, this morning in Kolkata after prolonged illness. He was 84 years of age.

Comrade Gurudas Dasgupta breathed his last on 31 October, on the very day a century before when India’s first central trade union, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), was formed heralding the unity and struggle of the working class movement and workers participation in the national freedom movement, the legacy of which both AITUC and CITU carries. He led the AITUC as its general secretary for more than a decade.

Comrade Gurudas Dasgupta joined the communist movement from his student days. He was an eminent national level student leader and steered the All India Students Federation for long. Later, he joined the trade union movement. His association with the working class movement was for more than five decades.

Comrade Gurudas Dasgupta played important role in broadening the united platform of trade unions to lead the working class struggle against neoliberal economic policy regime.

Comrade Gurudas Dasgupta was member of both Houses of the Parliament, the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, for two and half decades championing the cause of the working class and all other marginalized sections of the people which made him an outstanding parliamentarian.  

CITU salutes the departed leader in memory of his great contribution for the cause of toiling people, for their rights and livelihood; in defending the democracy and the unity and integrity of the country and its people.

Demise of Comrade Gurudas Dasgupta is a big loss to the working class and democratic movement of the country. 

CITU pays respectful homage to the departed leader and conveys its heartfelt condolence to the comrades of AITUC and his bereaved family members.

(Tapan Sen) 
General Secretary

A National Convention of Oil & Petroleum Workers was held at Mumbai on 26th October 2019. It was jointly organized by the Trade Unions of the different affiliations as well as the unaffiliated ones functioning in ONGC, IOC, OIL, BPCL and HPCL. Around 350 workers representatives from these oil PSUs from all over the country participated in the convention.  

INTUC, AITUC and the United Federation of CITU affiliated and other Independent Unions were represented by their principal national Office Bearers. Also national leaders of INTUC, AITUC, CITU and Sena Kamgar Federation addressed the convention and pronounced their support in the strike against privatization.

The Convention condemned the Narendra Modi Government for its suicidal decision and aggressive move for Privatization of even the strategic PSUs and Government Departments including Defense Production, Public Sector Banks and Insurance, Railways, Public Road Transport, Ports, etc. and many excellently run PSUs including in the sectors of Coal, Power, Steel, Oil & Petroleum, Heavy Engineering, and Container Services.

CITU representative Swadesh Dev Roye presented the Declaration of the Convention. The Declaration noted that in the past, to justify divestment of equity of PSUs, the Governments and private business lobbies used to resort to vilification campaign over the so called poor performance of the PSUs concerned.  But the shocking decision of the present Government to completely privatise the excellently run Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) has clearly established that the Central Government of the day is totally under the clutch of few crony private business giants and their foreign collaborators. Because given the all round physical and financial efficiency of BPCL and HPCL even the enemies of PSUs cannot attach the ‘poor performance’ tag on BPCL and HPCL.

The participants in the deliberations of the Convention expressed strong opposition and deep resentment to the disastrous move of the Union Government to privatize BPCL and HPCL. It (the Convention) declared that in view of the strategic importance of oil PSUs, excellent physical and financial performance during the decades of their operation and the huge physical assets created by both the oil PSUs, handing over these national assets to private oil giants both domestic and foreign would be a clear act of betrayal to the nation and to the people by the Government of the day. And the consequence of the execution of the shocking decision shall affect the lives of the people, the economy and national security of the country.

The Convention adopted the following ‘Action Programmes’ and appealed to the workers of BPCL and HPCL to come forward irrespective of affiliation and take part in the Action Programmes. Convention also appealed to the other  Oil and Petroleum PSU workers to extend active solidarity support to the Action Programmes.

Convention further appealed to the ‘Ten Central Trade Unions and National Federations and Confederations’ Joint Platform to extend support to the instant anti-privatisation struggle of Oil & Petroleum workers and respond to invitation to participate in the next National Convention to be held in New Delhi on 20th November 2019.

PROGRAMME OF ACTION

ONE DAY TOKEN STRIKE ON 28th NOVEMBER, 2019 (From 6.00 A.M ON 28TH NOVEMBER to 6.00 A.M ON 29TH NOVEMBER, 2019) BY ALL REFINERIES, MARKETING AND PIPELINE WORKERS OF BPCL and HPCL AT ALL WORK PLACES IN THE COUNTRY

The following programmes of Campaign, Propaganda and Agitation to be carried out by the Unions jointly with the objective to ensure massive mobilization and participation of workers of BPCL and HPCL in the strike:

1)    All the Unions to serve Strike Notice on 11th November 2019

2)    Observance of ‘ALL INDIA PROTEST WEEK’ by organizing  Rallies, Processions, Gate Meetings jointly by Permanent and Contract Workers during 11th to 17th November 2019. Massive Postering and distribution of Leaflets amongst workers, their family members and General Public.

3)    With Bigger Participation, next National Convention of Petroleum Workers from all the Oil & Petroleum PSUs at New Delhi on 20th November 2019. Central Trade Unions Leaders and Members of Parliament shall be invited to address

4)    Massive Day-long ‘DHARNA’ at the Gate of all the Refineries, Regional Headquarters and all other WORK LOCATIONS of BPCL and HPCL throughout India on 26th November 2019

5)   In the unfortunate event of the Central Government move forward for privatization of the Oil PSUs, Multiple-days Strike Action shall be decided at appropriate time to stop privatization by all means.

Released to Press by
Swadesh Dev Roye
Secretary CITU
+91-9868524570

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the workers, CITU state committee and other trade unions in Delhi for their united efforts and success in achieving significant minimum wage rise above Rs.15,000 as on 1 November, 2019 for the first time as per 15th Indian Labour Conference (ILC) recommendations, which were upheld and improved by the Supreme Court in their Raptakos Brett judgement in 1991; which has now again been confirmed by the Supreme Court in their Order of 14 October 2019 in the SLP case filed by Delhi Government against the Delhi High Court’s order of quashing its earlier notification of 3 March 2017 on ground of lack of employers proper representation in the Minimum Wage Advisory Board. CITU Delhi state committee is an intervener party in the Supreme Court case.  

The Supreme Court, in its earlier Order had directed Delhi government to reconstitute the advisory board, hold the its meetings, accordingly prepare the draft notification afresh and submit the same before the Supreme Court; and till that time implement the 3 March 2017 notification.

Accordingly, after discussion in the reconstituted Advisory Board, with wider employers and employees representation, the draft notification was submitted by Delhi government to the Supreme Court with Rs.14,842 as the lowest category minimum wage for unskilled workers which with DA will be more than Rs,15000 as on 1 November 2019. The Supreme Court has now approved and asked the Delhi government to go ahead with this notification.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

 CITU EXTENDS SOLIDARITY TO THE BANK EMPLOYEES COUNTRYWIDE STRIKE

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions extends full support of the countrywide bank employees strike action to be staged on 22nd October 2019 at the joint initiative of All India Bank Employees Association(AIBEA) and Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI) against the destructive decision of the BJP Govt on merger of public sector banks which is detrimental to the interests of the national economy and severely affect rather squeeze the state-owned banking service network in the country.  

In fact, this disastrous exercise is meant for drastically squeezing the public sector banks’ operational areas through inevitable closure of huge number of bank-branches, severely affecting employment and also affecting the spread-over and availability of banking services to common people particularly in comparatively remote areas, besides further weakening the concerned PSBs. As a result, the private sector banks including foreign banks will get more open field for their business in the urban areas; and the vast rural areas will be left virtually without any banking services. Also the Govt’s own scheme of direct benefit transfer (DBT) on various welfare measures in the rural areas is destined to get squeezed and infractuous; it will virtually deprive the poor of their legitimate benefits owing to non-availability and/or decline of the bank branches in the rural vicinity.

The experience of previous cases of merger of banks established the inevitability of such disastrous consequences. After merger of 5 Associate Banks with State Bank of India, around 1000 branched had been closed. Merger of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with Bank of Baroda is going to shut down around 800 more branches. A substantial section of those closed or going-to-be-closed branches are in the rural areas, where the private banks never tread even by mistake.

The merger of banks is being justified by the Govt on ground of strengthening and consolidating the concerned banks; but in reality such merger will further weaken all the banks post merger. Problems of public sector banks emanate from the deliberate default in loan-repayment by the big corporate houses and solution lies in stern action by the Govt for outright recovery of the huge loan amounts from defaulter corporates with penalty.  Instead, the Govt of the day is busy in legitimizing pilferage of bank money by the defaulter corporates through Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Procedure, forcing the public sector banks to sacrifice substantial portion their legitimate dues just to favour the defaulters. The Govt of the day is  actually engaged in destruction of the of the country’s financial service network which got widely expanded post nationalization of banks and insurance sector. This is detrimental to national interests.

CITU welcomes the initiative of the bank employees movement to fight and resist this damaging and destructive exercise by the BJP Govt at the centre and extends full support to the joint decisions of AIBEA and BEFI to go for countrywide strike on 22nd October 2019 as a part of their resistance struggle. CITU calls upon all the trade unions countrywide and CITU unions in particular to mobilize and hold solidarity demonstrations in front of banks in their respective area country wide on the day of the bank strike.

General Secretary 

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