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The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) a class oriented Trade Union confederation representing more than 7 million workers and an affiliate of WFTU, extends its international working class solidarity to the Greek working class who under the banner of PAME went on a nationwide Workers strike on 21st September, 2023  against unbridled attacks on lives and livelihood of the workers, wage and pension freeze, lengthening of working hours, soaring inflation, worsening job security condition of workers,  growing precarious nature of jobs and unemployment.

After reinstallation of ruling ND Government in Greece under the prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the ND government renewed its policy assault on the working people, recently prime minister announced a savage austerity drive along with freeze on wage and pension. The government introduced a new bill in the parliament that imposes 13 hours work days, 78-hour work weeks, proceeds to abolish the work break, a number of benefits as a result of the dominance of new flexible forms of employment, they want to abolish the five-day work week and Sunday holiday in more sectors such as the food industry. Also the bill further criminalizes the right to strike and trade union action.

Against these brutal policy onslaughts, the PAME called for a nationwide workers strike on 21st September, that garnered huge popular support. On the strike day, Greece witnessed a collective action of the workers in the main Greek cities Athens, Piraeus, Patras, Lavrio, Lesvos.

The CITU fully supports the just demands of the PAME and demands upon the Greek Government to pay heed to demands of the workers. The CITU once again congratulates the working class of Greece in general and PAME in particular for their successful strike actions and calls upon its affiliates and members and also the entire fraternity of the WFTU within the country and abroad to organize solidarity actions.       

Issued by
Swadesh DevRoye
National Secretary, CITU & Head of International Affairs

Wednesday, 20 September 2023 14:48

Women’s Reservation Bill

The demand for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies is a long pending demand of the women’s movement, CITU and several other trade unions. The BJP led NDA government had dramatically introduced the Women’s Reservation Bill as the 128th Constitutional amendment bill in the ongoing special session of Parliament, when it has less than six months’ tenure left. The bill is supposed to get passed in both the houses of Parliament.

BJP had promised to ensure 33% reservation to women in Parliament and state assemblies in its election manifesto before 2014 parliament elections and reiterated in 2019 parliament elections. The bill has provision for sub quota for women within reserved quota for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The bill, as introduced in Parliament now, has been linked to the next Census, which is yet to begin, the delimitation process and also requires ratification by at least half the state assemblies.So the one-third reservations for women in Parliament and state assemblies will come into effect not before 2029.

Thus, the introduction of the Womens’ Reservation Bill at the fag end of the tenure of this BJP government,which is marked by itsmanuvadi ideology and notoriously anti- women attitude,has to be seen as a deceptive act of image building to camouflage its failures.

One must recall the attitude of this BJP government towards the Olympian women wrestlers demanding action against Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, BJP MP, for sexual harassment.Instead of taking action against him as per law, the women wrestlers who brought laurels for the country were thrashed and beaten up on the streets, on the day of inauguration of the new Parliament house. It is a historical irony that the very government is forced to bring in the women’s reservation bill as the first bill in the first session in the new parliament house in an effort of image building.

CITU and its women’s sub-committee, the All India Coordination Committee of Working Women(CITU), along with the women’s organisations has been consistently in the forefront in the struggles for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures for the last three decades. It is the duty of the working class movement in general and working women in particular to carry on this struggle for representation in decision making till it is implemented.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Saturday, 16 September 2023 06:57

Homage to Comrade Kanai Bannerjee

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) pays respectful homage to Comrade Kanai Lal Bannerjee, freedom fighter, veteran trade union leader, ideologue and former National Secretary, CITU who passed away in the early hours today (15 September 2023) at his residence at Kolkata. He was under treatment for age related ailments. He was 97. He had donated his body to the Medical College.

Comrade Kanai Bannerjee who was affectionately called as Kanai da was born on 10 October 1926 in Bikrampur, Rani mandal village in Dhaka in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He was attracted to the freedom movement and then to the communist movement in his teen age itself. He recalled attending a meeting addressed by Subhash Chandra Bose in Dhaka in 1939. He joined the freedom movement and the communist party in his student days and was active in Students’ Federation. He was active in organsing people’s movements for food during the food crisis and against state repression. He was expelled from home for his political activities. He was expelled from college in Kooch bihar for his political activities and was taken back due to the public pressure. He started his trade union activities in Kooch bihar. In early days he had organsied beedi workers, tailors, washer men etc and ran cooperatives for them in early 40s.  After his coming to Calcutta, he was active in SF as well as trade union. After partition, his family came to India.

He was associated with the Rail Road Workers’ Union during those days. Later he joined the railways. He worked in the leadership of All India Railway men’s Federation for a long time. He played a crucial role in the historic railway strike in 1974.  He was asked to take premature retirement from service in 1984 and joined the CITU centre at the initiative of Comrade BTR. He was elected as an Office bearer of CITU in 1989 and functioned from CITU headquarters till 2013 when he got relieved from his responsibilities and shifted to Kolkata. As an office bearer of CITU, he had undertaken responsibilities of various sectors and states. He insisted in promoting working women to the leadership of CITU. He was instrumental in setting up the CITU library.

He was member of the central committee of CPI(M) till 2008.

A prolific reader and a good teacher, he had vast knowledge and interest in philosophy, literature and culture. He was one of the frontline leaders who guided CITU in the fight against neoliberal ideological offensive. He contributed much to the historic Bhubaneswar document on organisation of CITU. With an in depth knowledge of Indian philosophy and ancient literature, he used to wage war and sensitise comrades against all sorts of deviations and also hindutva communal ideology.

He led a very simple Spartan life. He was very affectionate to the cadres and at the same time very tough and non-compromising in political ideological fight against revisionism. At this time of tough ideological fight against revisionism and post modernism, his demise is a big loss to the CITU and the revolutionary movement in the country. CITU dips its flag in respect to the departed revolutionary leader and organiser and conveys its condolences to his bereaved family members and comrades.

Issued by

Tapan Sen
For CITU Secretariat 

Wednesday, 30 August 2023 15:05

Homage to Comrade Sarojini Balanandan

Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) pays respectful homage to Comrade Sarojini Balanandan, senior leader of the women’s movement in Kerala and former state President of Kerala State Committee and all India Vice President of AIDWA.  She passed away on 29 August 2023 at Kochi. She was 86.

Married to veteran trade union leader and former President of CITU, comrade E Balanandan, she joined the movement in 60s in Kerala. She had to face personal hardships as the wife of the trade union leader who had to spend his life in jail and underground.

As part of the women’s movement she led many struggles and faced police atrocities. She faced police lathicharge and was hospitalized for a week and then jailed during emergency for participating in a worker’s struggle.

She had served as the Panchayat President in Kalamassery, Eranakulam District and as the chairperson of social welfare board, Kerala. 

CITU expresses profound grief at her demise and conveys condolences to her family  members and comrades.

The historic All India Joint Convention of Workers and Farmers held on 24th August 2023, at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi was massive and full of determination to raise the pitch of their joint and coordinated agitations in the coming period. Jointly organised by the platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs)/Sectoral Federations/Associations and Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the Convention assessed the adverse and destructive impact of the Union Government policies on the workers, farmers, common people in general and on the democratic, secular, harmonious living of our people.

The convention in its declaration termed the policies of the party ruling in the Centre and some states as anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and against the national interests of our country. 

The convention called for ousting this ruling regime which is harming the Indian economy, making the lives of common people miserable with steep price rise of essential commodities, growing job-loss and increased unemployment, expensive education and healthcare, no subsidy on inputs and no MSP for the Farmers produce. None of the promises made to farmers were fulfilled by the Government, which were made to farmers based on which they suspended their 13 month long sit-in at borders facing all odds. The attack on the public sector and Govt departments for privatisation continues, no recruitments are made, outsourcing, contractorization and casualisation is rampant, the labour laws are being codified to favour the employers and against workers’ interests.

The groups and the forces who spread hatred for unhealthy divisive polarization, and the vigilante groups who indulge in violence, get tacit support from the powerful people in the ruling circles. These tactics, meant to divert the attention of the people from the issues of their livelihood, are dangerous as well as poisonous for the social fabric, unity and integrity of the country. Such a ruthless ruling regime is against national interest, does not have the right to occupy the seat of power and must be ousted said the Declaration adopted by the Convention.

The convention adopted a charter of demands and has called upon the following action programme in the coming days.

Nationwide Call of Action

Apart from working for the above demands, the Convention resolved to appeal to all the workers and farmers across the country to come forward and participate in the following joint and coordinated actions in the coming days:

  1. Observe 3rd October 2023 (Lakhimpur Kheri massacre of farmers in 2021) as Black Day, demanding dismissal and prosecution of the alleged conspirator, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni. 
  1. Organise Day and Night Mahapadav Struggle in front of the Raj Bhawans in the state Capitals of all the States and Union Territories, from 26 to 28 November 2023, (26 November 2020 had been the day of the All India General Strike by workers and the first day of the historic March to Parliament by farmers.) 
  1. December 2023/January 2024 - Determined and Massive United Protest Actions across the country. 

(The complete Declaration is attached).

The Platform of Central Trade Unions/Federations    &     Samyukta Kisan Morcha


Demands High level investigation and Compensation to the families of the deceased

The Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) deeply condoles the tragic death of 23 construction workers after the collapse of an under-construction railway bridge at Sairang, near Aizawl, capital of Mizoram on 23rd August, 2023.

The railway bridge that collapsed at around 10.00 am on Wednesday, was a part of the Bhairabi Sairang New Line Mizoram Railway Project, according to the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR). It was being constructed over the Kurung River and is positioned between the Bairabi and Sairang railway stations. The bridge’s pier stands at an impressive height of 104 meters. Around 40 workers, mostly migrant workers from Bengal were there at the time of this deadly incident.

At least 23 construction workers from Maldah district in West Bengal died on the spot following this dreadful incident. Soon after the news came, the CWFI leadership of Maldah district went to the villages of the deceased, met their family members, and extended heartfelt condolences. The CWFI is keeping in touch with Mizoram administrations and railways officials for speedy process of repatriation of bodies and early payment of compensations to the bereaved families. CWFI leadership of Mizoram rushed to the site and met with officials and rendered their help in the rescue operations.

While mourning and condoling the tragic loss of lives, CWFI also demands a thorough high-level judicial probe into the whole matter to fix accountability, and take appropriate action.

CWFI demands upon the governments at Centre and state adequate compensation and jobs to the families of the deceased.

Issued by,  
General Secretary

The Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) empathetically condemns the West Bengal Government for unleashing brutal police action on Comrade Ziaul Alam, General Secretary, All India Plantation Workers Federation of India, and other trade union leaders who were brutally manhandled by the police and arrested on 16th August, 2023.

West Bengal Government run by anti democratic corrupt TMC has been unleashing a series of vindictive coercive actions on opposition leaders and workers since its inception. On 16th August evening, TMC hoodlums tried to storm into CITU and other mass organisations office with an aim to terrify our comrades, that attack was vehemently resisted by our brave comrades. Soon after the incident, instead of arresting TMC ruffian, the Bengal Police pounced upon CITU leaders at the behest of the state government.  In a several video it was visible that police manhandled CITU leaders and started bodily lifting our comrades.

CWFI strongly condemns such police brutality and undemocratic coercive actions of west Bengal government which has become infamous for its habitual highhandedness and strong arm tactics to curb any kind of dissent or protest. Denouncing the arrest of Comrade Ziaul Alam, Plantation workers federation of India has been conducting a series of action programs throughout the plantation gardens in country. The plantation workers of Bengal with other section of working people are in a decisive struggle action demanding immediate unconditional release of Ziaul Alam and other comrades.

CWFI extends its class solidarity and whole hearted support to the plantation worker ongoing protest and demands upon the Bengal government for immediate unconditional release of Comrade Ziaul Alam and other leaders. CWFI calls upon all its affiliates and also members and affiliates of entire CITU fraternity to organize solidarity protest actions.

Issued By
U.P Joseph,
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) condemns the brutal police action on All India Plantation Workers Federation (AIPWF) General Secretary and CITU National Working Committee Member Comrade Ziaul Alam who was arrested in a heinous way on 16th August 2023 night, at Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.

In a nefariously conspired move, the Trinamool Congress goons attacked our Trade Union and other fraternal Mass Organisation offices at Jalpaiguri on 16th August 2023 evening. They planned to vandalise and loot our offices which were valiantly resisted by our trade union comrades along with students and youths. Many of our comrades were brutally attacked and injured, many are hospitalized.

Instead of arresting the culprits, the TMC led police force came heavily upon our comrades, manhandled and arrested 5 of our activists along with Comrade Ziaul Alam.

CITU condemns the notorious police action of West Bengal administration, which has mutilated all democratic scope and constitutional rights of people of Bengal. CITU demands that the West Bengal Police Administration should immediately release the leaders unconditionally and arrest the TMC Hooligans behind this barbarous act.

CITU calls upon all its constituents and fraternal federations to rise in rage and register their protest at every level against the barbarous attack on trade union leaders and democratic forces of West Bengal.

Release AIPWF General Secretary Ziaul Alam
Release our Leaders
Arrest TMC Hooligans
Stop brutal Police Raj and Restore Democracy in West Bengal

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), a class oriented Trade Union Confederation and an affiliate of WFTU, representing more than 7 million Workers, extends international working class solidarity to the CGTP, another WFTU affiliate Trade Union Confederation of Peru which is spearheading their struggle demanding immediate reinstatement of former left leaning President Pedro Castillo and his pro people government.

Pedro Castillo, former President of Peru was ousted by a ‘soft coup’ instituted against him by the rightwing congressmen in Peruvian Parliament; the removal of Pedro Castillo was a sinister ploy of the rightwing pro-imperialist forces in the congress to advance the imperialist interests of US. The CGTP in their nationwide campaign and struggle is mobilizing to rally all the trade unions united to unleash a joint struggle against the US imperialist interventions in Peruvian polity and policy making. Strikingly, soon after the removal of Castillo, US started to send its naval ships to the ports of Peru.

The CGTP correctly believes that the first step would be the defunding and dismissing of notorious US project ‘National Endowment of Democracy’, which functions only to facilitate the strategic geo political interests of US. The NED has a significant amount of money to persuade opportunist’s yellow trade unions to support their imperialist aims.

CITU fully supports the struggles and campaign drive of CGTP to safeguard the sovereignty of their country as well as rights of the working class. CITU demands upon the current Peruvian government to stop indulging in US interests that would only jeopardize the geo political formations and interests of Latin America. While extending solidarity to the CGTP, CITU also calls upon its affiliates and members and also the fraternity of WFTU within the country and abroad to organize solidarity actions.

Issued By
Swadesh DevRoye
National Secretary & Head of International Affairs  

Tuesday, 15 August 2023 15:28

Homage to Comrade Panu Majumdar

Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) pays respectful homage to the legendary plantation leader Comrade Panu Majumdar who will be remembered long for his contribution towards the working class movement and the people of Tripura. Comrade Panu Majumdar passed away 14th August 2023 midnight at GBP Hospital of Tripura leaving behind his innumerable followers throughout the State. He was 86 at the time of demise.

Comrade Sudhamoy Majumder popularly known as Comrade Panu Majumdar worked among and organised the tea garden workers since 1970. He was a key organiser of Tripura State CITU right from its formation period. He devoted his life to the cause of emancipation of the working class. He was unmarried and spent his entire life with the tea workers.

While organising tea workers in struggle for rights and better livelihoods, he faced numerous challenges. Especially the threat of lock-out and closure always used to haunt the workers. In such an event, the criminal proprietor of the Durgabari Tea Garden turned the garden sick and left it with hundreds of workers to die in a critical condition. Comrade Panu Majumdar brought all the workers of that garden together, gave them guidance and hope and developed it as a cooperative tea garden. With his indomitable spirit, knowledge, hard work, comradely feelings and strong leadership with participatory model, Durgabari was converted as an International Model Cooperative Tea Garden and a sustainably high yielding and profitable one. The cooperative is still now running with excellence and the workers are getting significantly more returns out of it.

Comrade Panu Majumder was a member of All India Plantation Workers Federation. For a long time, he was a member of CITU All India General Council and the Vice President of Tripura CITU State Committee.

Comrade Panu Majumdar had an extraordinary quality to explain intricate things in a simple way. His endeavor and sacrifice gave an alternative to Durgabari and it will remain as a beacon in the history of workers’ participatory cooperative movement in India.

Long Live Comrade Panu Majumdar. Long Live Durgabari.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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