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The Construction Workers, Federation of India expresses serious concern at the reports that talks are going on between India and Israel over sending construction workers from India to work in Israel in place of Palestinian workers who are not in a position to work since the Israeli war on Palestine.  It is reported that Israeli authorities have ordered Palestinian workers working in different sectors in Israel with work permits to leave, as part of their attacks on Palestinians. While the Israeli Builders, Association has asked for 50000 -100000 Indian construction workers to replace Palestinian workers, it is reported that Israel and India are negotiating about sending 15000 workers. 

The Construction Workers Federation of India strongly objects to any attempt to send the poor construction workers of our country to Israel to overcome its shortage of workers and in any way support its genocidal attacks on Palestine killing thousands of innocent people including children and women.

The Construction Workers Federation of India demands that Indian government support the UN resolution calling for immediate ceasefire, Palestinian state with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital. CWFI demands the Government of India to use its diplomatic relations with Israel to abide by the UN resolution instead of negotiating for sending construction workers to that country. 

CWFI calls upon all its members, all the construction workers of India and also the people to protest against the moves to put the lives of construction workers of our country at risk by sending them to Israel and make them indirect partners in its genocidal attacks on Palestinians. 

Construction workers of India stand in solidarity with the working class and the people of Palestine under genocidal attack by Israel with the full backing of the USA and other imperialist countries 

UP Joseph 
General Secretary

Thursday, 05 October 2023 17:04

Homage to Comrade Anathalavattom Anandan

Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU) pays respectful homage to veteran trade union leader, All India Vice President and Kerala State President of CITU, Comrade Anathalavattom Anandan who passed away today (5 October 2023) at Thiruvananthapuram. He was under treatment for cancer. He was 86 years old.

Comrade Anandan was born on 22 April 1937 in Anathalavattom in Thiruvananthapuram district. Anandan started his political activities during his school days itself. He worked as a coir worker and organized the coir workers. In 1958, he has organsied a mighty struggle of coir workers demanding an increase inwages. This was when the first communist government was in power and the mill owners were denying the rights of the workers.He became the undisputed leader of the coir workers in Kerala through innumerable struggles facing severe repression. He led many state marches of coir workers including the one in 1973 to protest against the local police killing of Comrade Ammu, a coir worker at Vazhamuttom in Thiruvananthapuram district. He led the famous Coir Strike in 1975.He took the lead in forming cooperatives of coir workers as well. He served as the General Secretary and President of the Coir Workers’ Centre, Kerala since 1973. He was also the general secretary of Travancore Coir Thozhilali Union from 1970 to 1995.

He had organised many sections of the most downtrodden sections of the working class in Kerala. An uncompromising leader to the cause of the working class, he led many unions of various sections, ranging from the traditional sectors, unorganized sector as well as the most modern organsied sector. He led unions of Press Workers , Sawmill Workers private transport workers, toddy tappers,  Serifed Employees, SIDCO Employees and so on. He served as the president of Kerala State Road Transport Employees Association (KSRTEA), Kerala Financial Corporation Officers' Association, Kerala State Co-Operative Bank Employees Federation, Khadi Board Employees Association, and Travancore Titanium Officers' Association.

Comrade Anandan has faced many hardships and state repression in his seven decade long public life. He has been arrested and detained on several occasions, as well as injured during protests. He led a ‘hunger march’ throughout Kerala in 1975 just before emergency. During the Emergency, he went underground for a year and a half and was declared a wanted fugitive under infamous MISA. He was arrested in November 1976 and detained until the lifting of the Emergency.

Comrade Anandan was actively involved in CITU since its inception and had attended all the All India Conferences of CITU from the foundation conference and he was elected as the President of the CITU Kerala State unit in 2013. He has also been a member of the All India Working Committee of CITU since 1979 and was elected as an All India Office Bearer in 2013 and continued in the position till date.

Comrade Anandan was a member of state secretariat of CPI(M).

He lived a very simple life and was a popular leader of the people. He served as the President of Chirayinkeezhu Grama Panchayath from 1979 to 1984, and was then elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly three times from Attingal Constituency in 1987, 1996 and in 2006. He always raised issues of the working people in the Assembly. He was the Chief whip of the Government from 2006 to 2011 in the Left Democratic Front ministry.

Anandan served as the director of the Kerala State Coir Marketing Federation (Coirfed) from 1979 to 2001, and was the Chairman of Coirfed in 1989. He has also served as the Chairman of Foam Mattings India Ltd and Vice Chairman of National Coir Research & Management Institute (NCRMI).

He is married to Laila and has two children.

At this political juncture, loosing a comrade like him who was uncompromisingly dedicated to the class struggle and the working class ideology is a great loss to the working people of Kerala, CITU and the working class movement in particular. CITU dips its red flag in salute to the memory of the departed leader and conveys our heartfelt condolences to his family and the comrades.

Issued by
Tapan Sen,
General Secretary
CITU Secretariat

Wednesday, 04 October 2023 04:42

Stop Harassment of Those Who Speak the Truth 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly condemns the raids of the homes of journalists, scientists, cultural historians and several others in the early morning today by the Delhi police under the Home Ministry of the government of India, invoking the draconian UAPA.

This is nothing but an open onslaught on the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by our Constitution. It is a blatant attempt to suppress voices that have been opposing the Modi government’s disastrous policies imposing huge burdens on the people on the one hand and the spread of communal poison and hatred on the other. 

The Modi government has become notorious for deploying investigation agencies and foisting false cases to harass, intimidate and threaten independent media houses, organisations and individuals who have been making efforts to bring out the truth in the face of the continuous misinformation campaign and dissemination of fake news by its godi media.

BBC, Newslaundry, The Wire, Dainik Bhaskar and several other news agencies were targeted earlier. Now it has turned its ire against NewsClick, raiding the houses and taking away the laptops and mobile phones of its officials and employees.

Such authoritarian measures only show the increasing intolerance of the Modi government to any criticism against its anti worker, anti people and anti national policies, particularly in the wake of the growing united actions of the people, when Parliament elections are only a few months away.

CITU calls upon the workers and all sections of the people to strongly protest these heinous attacks aimed to suppress the media and prevent it from discharging its responsibility of bringing out the truth in a democratic society.

Issued by:
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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

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