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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. 


  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

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

The Central Trade Unions (CTUs) in their meeting on 3rd June 2020 congratulated the workers for responding enthusiastically to the nation-wide protest call demanding immediate halt to changes in labour laws, abrogating the rights won over after a struggle of 150 years among other demands. The meeting took serious note of the continuous aggressive attack on the workers’ rights ignoring all the joint representations to the Government on the matter including the nationwide protest on 22nd May 2020.

The Government not only failed in getting its own orders and advisories implemented in regard to payment of wages to workers, no retrenchments to be carried during lockdown period. Instead, it withdrew its own decision in the face of the case in Supreme Court by the employers of some companies. The Government did not heed to the demand of cash transfer of Rs. 7500/- to all non income tax paying households including unorganised labour (registered or unregistered) for the months of April, May, June, neither the demand for Government support to pay the wages of workers of MSMEs for these three months. The ration to all working people for at least six months to be made available universally also did not find favour with the Government. Neither our demand for workers safe journey home paid attention to.

The Supreme Court had to take cognizance finally asking the Governments of Centre and States not to demand passenger fares from workers, give them proper shelter and food till they are transported to their homes. Nineteen High Courts had taken cognizance of workers, frontline fighters and hospital services etc during this period.

We re-iterate that the Central Government chose the cover of COVID-19 lockdown to push through its agenda of disinvestment and wholesale privatisation of Public Sector Enterprises, 100 percent FDI in core sectors - Indian railways, Defence, Port and Dock, Coal, Air India, Banks, Insurance etc., steps in favour Corporates of Indian & Foreign brands to usurp natural resources and business of the country while mouthing behind the slogan of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat. The earlier decisions and those taken during COVID-19 lockdown on privatization/corporatization/commercialization in Defense, Coal, Space science, Atomic energy, Insurance, Banks and most of the PSUs are being pursued with vigour and arrogance. The decision of DA freeze of 48 lakh Central Government Employees and DR freeze of 68 lakh pensioners, which is also having impact on the state government employees, is not withdrawn despite vehement opposition from Government employees and CTUs.

In this back ground various sections are now in agitation mode. The electricity workers and engineers have jointly observed countrywide protest against Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 on 1st June 2020.  While welcoming the sectoral struggles which are developing in various sectors, CTUs support the protest programmes taken up by Defence federations including “strike ballots” and those in the coal mine sector on 10-11 June 2020.

The scheme workers, ASHA, Anganwadi, MDM, 108 ambulance employees, etc and the nurses and doctors who are in the front ranks among the front line warriors working at the community level for combating Covid 19 Pandemic are agitated for their demands for safety measures not being addressed appropriately and neither they are provided proper health care on falling sick from COVID-19 infection, nor the social security and insurance coverage being extended to the families who are succumbing to the disease. The scheme workers are also being denied payment of honorarium for lockdown period.

ASHAs, anganwadi employees, Doctors, Nurses, Safai Karamcharis, have been in the protests now and then in various parts of the country on similar demands. The CTUs support all these agitations on their just demands.

The so-called 20 lakh crore package of the Government is nothing but a hoax and cruel joke on the suffering people; this mainly comprises of loan guarantee to various sectors and the actual relief package reaching people is not even 1 percent of GDP. Even, previously announced budgetary allocations and welfare schemes such as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, Construction Workers Welfare Board and District Mineral Funds etc have been unscrupulously repackaged to befool the people.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the hasty move of the BJP Govt at the centre engineering  retrograde changes in agriculture-economy in the name of reforms through Ordinance route with the sole intention of benefitting handful of big-landlords and corporate agri-business (both foreign and domestic) clique at the cost of overwhelming majority of the agricultural populace- the small and marginal farmers and the agri-workers in particular. All talks of benefiting and empowerment of farmers to benefit out of freedom of trade is nothing but a fraud on the people. Moreover this is going to severely abrogate the rights of state governments to regulate and intervene in the agrarian economy.

The Cabinet decision to promulgate the 'Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020' in the name of complete deregulation of trade on agricultural produce would finally mean that the produce would be purchased without auctions and regulatory supervision by the concerned authority; it would actually mean that sale of the agri-produce will be through bilateral grossly unequal negotiations between large landlord-corporate traders clique on the one side and poor peasants on the other. Such a system would be inherently biased against the interests of majority of the farmers. It is going to facilitate the handful of those in landlord-corporate-business clique to squeeze and exploit more the overwhelming majority of the agricultural populace. This structural change in the agri-trade regime will pave the way for ultimately ending the Govt responsibility of ensuring remunerative prices of the agri-produce and related arrangement of procurement etc— complete facilitation for looting the mass of the farmers by the landlord-corporate clique.

Similarly, the ‘The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020’ is going to permanently empower again the big-landlord-agri-business lobby to squeeze and exploit the mass of the small and marginal farmers putting them under continuing distress and thereby continue the stranglehold of the landlord-agri-business clique on the farming population.  The claims that it will empower the farmers by removing all restrictions, and ensure them a level playing field are all bogus and baseless. Amendments to the Essential Commodities Act removing commodities like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onion and potatoes from the list of essential commodities and removing all restrictions and limits on storage and building stock will promote hoarding and patronize speculation and black-marketing, to facilitate and empower the ultra-rich class in the agricultural economy. It is a positive threat to country’s food security.

The entire exercise is aimed at total structural change in the management of the agricultural economy through a process of complete abdication of governance responsibility to ensure basic rights of the farmers for a humane living on the one hand and towards land concentration and consolidation with the handful of landlord-traders clique and promotion of contract farming as well lease of farm land by corporate companies. This is also an exercise of bartering food-security of the people and humane entitlement of the majority of the agricultural populace with the interest of profiteering and speculative trade at the altar of handful of ultra-rich class of the big-corporate-landlord regime. 

CITU calls upon the working class to oppose and protest such nefarious anti-people, anti-farmer machinations of the Modi Govt and join hands with the peasants and agri-workers’ organization to unitedly fight, defy and resist.

( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

Demanding withdrawl of draconian changes in labour laws , total privatization of PSEs and corporatization of agriculture
Hunger strike, demonstrations, processions and arrests at several places.  Petitions to Prime Minister sent from all over India listing demands

22nd May - Nationwide protest on the call of 10 Central Trade Unions was joined by several other trade unions active at National and State level. A Joint Petition by the  Central Trade Unions(CTUs) was submitted to the Prime Minister via e mail. This petition was simultaneously released all over India by the participating leaders and activists. The petition included the demands such as immediate relief to stranded workers for safe reaching to their homes, food to be made available to all, universal coverage of ration distribution without conditions, ensure wages to all of the entire lock down period, cash transfer of Rs.7500/- to all non-income tax paying households  including unorganized labour force (registered or unregistered or self employed) for at least three months i.e. April, May and June, withdraw DA freeze to central government employees & CPSEs and DR freeze to pensioners, stop surrendering of live sanctioned posts, put a  complete halt to any changes/dilutions in the labour laws, strengthen of the Inter State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Services) Act 1979 to ensure compulsory registration of migrant workers ensuring with adequate protective provisions on wages, social security, accommodation and welfare needs with a strong and accountable enforcement mechanism. They demanded halt to the  policy of wholesale privatization PSUs and government departments through multi-pronged routes like corporatization, outsourcing, PPP, liberalized FDI etc, which were reiterated  and  announced during the package announcements by the FM from 13th May to  17th May 2020 in particular and also in the addresses of the Prime Minister during lock down period.

The employees and workers from independent federations and associations such as banks, insurance, defense, telecom, central and state government employees etc. organized solidarity actions  by wearing black badges in some cases and lunch hour meetings in other establishments and some participating in the action programmes directly. The unions of oil sector in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were also in protest action. The coal unions in Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Odisha, Telengana, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra were in protest action. Hunger strike was resorted to in several states at some selected spots such as in Delhi, Karnatka, Assam, Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Punjab, Tamilnadu, Pudduchery, Orissa Andhra Pradesh. Militant programs were held in Telengana, Jharkhand and Gujarat. Two hours strike was held in some industrial units in Maharashtra. In Tamilnadu the programme was organized in 10000 places with more than 2 lakh people, similarly the programmes in Kerala were organized in 5000 places with participation of more than one lakh persons. In Maharashtra the programmes could be organized in about 36 districts. In Haryana and Punjab the programmes were held in all districts and memorandum submitted to DC offices in several of them. In Odisha also the programmes were organized in all the districts as well as in the industrial ares of Rourkela, Sambalpur,Paradeep or in NCL areas.There were programmes held in Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand in major towns and industrial areas. Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan witnessed joint action at several places In Manipur, Arunanchal Pradesh, Tripura also  the protest actions were organized. The workforce in Oil sector in Duliajan in Assam organized a programme of protests. There were reports that though the scheme workers-Aanganwadi, ASHA were on their duties of door to door visits for screening and making data etc. related with COVID 19 despite that they could participate in programmes in several parts of the country.

Workers from various sectors railways, power and electricity,  HAL, Port etc to beedi, plantation,  MGNREGA , sanitation workers, scheme workers   and domestic workers also participeted in the protest.  In addition to these many workers and family members joined the protest from their home.

In Delhi the programme was held in several places including the programe of hunger strike at Gandhi Samadhi,  Rajghat where some of  the national leadership of the Central Trade Unions participated along with the leaders of Delhi units of CTUs. Some of the protesting leaders were arrested and detained in Rajendra Nagar police station. Those arrested included HMS General secretary Harbhajan Sidhu, CITU General Secretary Tapan Sen,CITU President Hemlata,  AICCTU  General Secretary Rajeev Dimri, AITUC national secretary, Vidya Sagar Giri, Ashok Singh Vice President of INTUC, R K Sharma National Secretary of AIUTUC, Jawahar Singh of LPF, Lata Ben and Usha from SEWA,Trilok Singh national leader from General insurance, A R Sindhu and Amitav Guha, secretaries of CITU and Rajender Singh of HMS. They are not yet released.
INTUC President Sanjeeva Reddy participated in the programme at Hyderabad whereas AITUC General Secretary Amarjeet Kaur was part of the procession and then protest at Mini Secretariat in Ludhiana. The  General Secretary LPF Shanmugam attended action in Tamilnadu.TUCC national leaders G Shivshankar and Devrajan were present in the programmes in Karnataka and Kerala.The General Secretary of SEWA, Ms Manali attended programme in Gujrat.
Participants were arrested in Silliguri, WB.

In many states including in Noida UP, trade union leaders were arrested the previous day, to suppress the action. In spite of that workers participated in the strike in massive way. 

In many states the organizations of peasantry and other sections also supported the struggle.

The central trade unions will meet soon to decide on future course of intensified actions.

       INTUC                     AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                       AIUTUC

          TUCC                SEWA                      AICCTU                     LPF                    UTUC

Pittance for suffering masses  ♦  Bonanza for big corporates  ♦  Permanent squeezing of workers

The fifth and final round announcement by the Finance Minister on so called Rs 20 lakh crore ‘relief package’ of Prime Minister is a heartless cruel joke on the suffering people. It does not even provide the required immediate relief from the situation of continuing hunger and destitution.

Out of total Rs 20 lakh crore, a very meager percentage came as direct immediate cash and food support to the immensely suffering jobless, income less, shelter less crores of working people. Lakhs of migrants are either locked down in hutments haplessly or desperately walking along the highways, facing death due to exhaustion, hunger and accidents or police brutality. The BJP government led by Modi has shown inhuman contempt to the basic entitlement for dignified survival of common people, while making noise on so called empowerment. The multi-facet measures the finance minister has announced about so called reforms embracing all the sectors of the economy are aimed at permanently empowering the handful of big foreign and domestic corporates and big business houses, to freely exploit workers to maximise profits.  

Direct cash and food support for the suffering millions, to be funded from Govt exchequer taking together all the announcements by the Govt is not more than even 10% of the total package claimed to be of Rs 20 lakh crore plus.  Whatever direct cash and food support has been announced in different tranches through free ration and cash transfer, has not reached 80% of the needy working people. Around half of the announced quantum of package comes from Reserve Bank of India and not from the Govt exchequer. An overwhelmingly major part of whatever has been announced for industries, MSMEs, and agriculture are in the form of loans and advances from financial institutions in the days to come. It does not immediately reach them. The survival needs of the majority of the populace have been ignored totally. When direct support and loan waiver is the urgent need of the hour, liberalising loan provision in future cannot help in any manner.

Moreover, the Finance Minister’s claim on EPF withdrawal provisions or cash support to construction workers as a part of her relief package is nothing but an act of deception and fraud on people. All these provisions are funded not by Govt but by workers’ own accumulation in their EPF account and the accumulation of cess account in the construction workers’ welfare fund.

Along with this, the series of measures of aggressive neoliberal reforms announced by the Govt announced, instead of strengthening the national economy, will put the country in the track of destruction. They will destroy our manufacturing capability and lead to gradual de-industrialisation.  In the name of self-reliance, measures like liberalisation of FDI and FII, allowing Indian companies to freely list themselves in foreign jurisdictions, leading to increased foreign domination and in many cases foreign take-over, are being announced. This will threaten our self reliance itself.   

This dangerous trend of erosion of self reliance is further aggravated by the policy of allowing minimum one to maximum four PSUs in each strategic sector to be notified by the Govt in future. This Govt has already been acting systematically for destroying almost all PSUs in the much crucial pharmaceutical sector; in defence production sector as many as 40 plus Ordnance factories are being forced to convert themselves in PPP mode paving way for full privatisation, through corporatisation route, there being no ceiling on private equity participation in them as per the new policy on defence production sector. Same design of virtual marginalisation of functional and profit-making PSUs in various strategic sectors like Coal, Airports network, central power utilities, shipyards, Railway production units etc is being actively pursued through hostile policy interventions of the Govt, not to allow them to viably operate. And as culmination to said systematically pursued destructive policy-hostility towards PSUs, obviously to benefit the private players and contractors in the same sectors, today’s policy announcement on PSU is aimed at finally eliminating PSUs from the economic map of the country. And that is going to be biggest disservice and betrayal to the national interests, interests of the people at large only benefitting the international finance capital and the Indian corporates as its junior partner.

The Finance Minister is notoriously liberal in empowering the big corporate not to comply the laws under which they function and operate as seen in decriminalising the offences under Companies Act, grossly relaxing compounding of offences owing to continued non-compliance, easing the bankruptcy resolution process in favour of the debt-defaulters and so on. These are being done in the name of helping MSMEs which is again a deceptive posture to befool the people. Very few MSMEs will be benefitted by such liberal concessions since MSMEs are generally compliant either to their debt obligation or other legal obligations. They actually require direct support and wage support like that given to them in many countries in the world, and did not get anything tangible from these packages. On the other hand, the Govt shamelessly shut their eyes on the gross violation of its own directives regarding non-termination of employment and full payment of wages to workers by the same corporate community and the so called mega-package did not just care about the same. 

Selecting the Pandemic and lockdown time, severely squeezing the space for democratic exercise of debates and dissents for all the above misdeeds involving national interests reflects authoritarian and anti democratic attitude of the BJP government to mask its dubious and destructive intents.

CITU condemns such desperate and destructive neoliberal reforms in favour of private and foreign players which are severely detrimental to national interests. CITU calls upon the working people, all the trade unions irrespective of affiliations as well as all patriotic and progressive sections of the society to raise their united voice in protest against these anti people and anti national deceptive measures. CITU appeals to the entire nation to prepare itself for safeguarding the self reliance of the country and the lives and livelihood of our working people.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary 

Amid the shrill noise of self reliance, the fourth round announcement of Finance Minister in the name relief package carried no relief to actually suffering people in the least owing to lockdown. No doubt it is big bonanza to the  private corporate bosses, more foreign than domestic  through facilitating  privatization of defence production by  corporatization route, through opening privatization process of our vital mineral resources like coal and others, privatization of Airports and PSU Airlines, also essential public utility service like the electricity, even Space and Atomic Energy.

At the same time, as has been made clear in her second and  third round announcements regarding country’s labour-  management  land-management, extra liberalism showered through  aggressive move for complete annulment of all labour laws and also  loud talks on liberal availability of land for industries through industrial land bank and other means, promotion of SEZs etc, make it amply clear that the most retrograde reforms programme being ventured by the Govt at the centre to appease the private capital, both foreign and domestic is going to be founded on taking away the lands of the farmers, or forcing them for distress sale who are already distressed through continuing agrarian crisis; on the other hand the misadventure of the Govt is also founded on barbarous sucking of the sweat and blood of the working people at large through promotion of lawless SEZ culture everywhere divesting them of all rights in all the workplaces. Those who produce food for the country and those who produce value for the nation are targeted for barbarous exploitation and expropriation along with desperate auction of  country’s strategic industries, natural and national resources to the detriment of national interests.

The privatization drive in defence production sector through corporatisation route and forcing PPP on the Ordnance Factory net work, together with allowing 74% FDI through automatic route will finally lead to foreignisation of our defence production, rather more dependence on foreign defence equipment companies threatening the security-preparedness of the country. Along with, doing away with technology transfer provisions in the major defence equipment procurement as has already been indulged in infamous Rafael aircraft deal while similar others for naval frigates, submarines, missiles etc being in pipelines –all with major foreign producers—is finally going to make the country’s profit-making defence sector PSUs, shipyards etc

absolutely redundant or make them the junior partner of foreign players. This will also severely erode the self-reliance and make the country dependent on imperialist powers.

The privatization drive in coal and Bauxite minerals sector along with banishing of the captive-mine concept and also allowing 100 per cent FDI through automatic route will finally be having destructive impact on the concerned public sector companies like Coal India Ltd and other in the Aluminum sector, much to the detriment of national interests. Moreover blanket commercialization including exports of these minerals mined by private sector including the foreign players, is finally going to starve the vital industries in our country like  power, steel, aluminum, fertilizers etc   of their essential raw materials needs at affordable prices. 

The Aviation sector has also been thrown in the process of privatization,  including the national carrier Air India and also country’s profit-making airports some of which has already gone to  the chosen and favoured private players.

The country’s electricity sector, the most vital sector delivering essential public utility is being pushed to total privatization, creating a compulsion for the state governments to follow  such disastrous route, through Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 and authoritarian centralization of regulatory power stipulated by it; on the other hand subsidy on household consumers  and agriculture has been announced to be phased out meaning increasing burden on the common people and already suffering agrarian sector.

Utterly notorious has been to open the door of privatization in Space Research and Atomic Energy sector through the so called PPP model which will mean monetization of the fruits of research by our scientist by private players without bearing any cost of the research, nor contributing anything. This is synonymous to plunder on national assets, resources and intellectual property developed by the country with huge investment of public fund.

Selecting the Pandemic and lockdown time, severely squeezing the space for democratic exercise of debates and dissents for all the above misdeeds involving national interests reflects the dubious and destructive intents of the Govt of the day.

CITU condemns such desperate auctioneering of country’s strategic industrial units in Defence production, Coal and Bauxite mining, aviation sector, electricity, Space and Atomic Energy and other national assets and resources in favour of private and foreign players which are severely detrimental to national interests. CITU calls upon the working people and all the trade unions irrespective of affiliations to protest against these retrograde measures and prepare for united resistance struggle at the earliest.

Issued by
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

Saturday, 16 May 2020 14:36

Homage to Comrade K Varadarajan

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) pays respectful homage to Comrade K. Varadharajan who passed away at Karur, Tamil Nadu today at the age of 74.

Comrade K. Varadharajan was attracted to the Left ideology at a very young age. He was a trained civil engineer, but resigned from government’s job and started organising the peasantry in Trichy district of Tamil Nadu. He was elected as the District Secretary of the Tamilnadu Vivasayigal Sangham (Kisan Sabha) in 1974 and its State Secretary in 1986. He was the General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) from 1998 to 2013.  He played a crucial role in building the struggles for land rights, wages and against caste oppression of the peasants and agricultural workers. He contributed much to the worker-peasant alliance and joint struggles of CITU and AIKS. He was Vice President of AIKS till date.

He was a member of Polit Bureau of the CPI(M).

He also played a crucial role in organising the Dalits in Dalit Soshan Mukti Manch.

CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family members and comrades.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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