Super User

Super User

Centre of Indian Trade Unions salutes the over 82000 defence civilian employees working in the 41 ordnance factories across the country and the employees of the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) attached to the ordnance factories who have started their historic 30 days’ strike against corporatisation of the ordnance factories .

Despite the categorical assurance by the defence ministers in successive governments and in the Parliament in March 2015, during the Modi 1 regime, that ordnance factories would not be corporatised, the Modi 2 government has decided to corporatise the ordnance factories, on way to their future privatisation.

It is ironic that the BJP and Modi who campaigned on the plank of ‘nationalism’ have no qualms in placing our national security at the mercy of the profit greedy corporates including foreign companies by privatising the defence sector including allowing 100% FDI. The ordnance factories, treated as the 4th force of defence of India have played a crucial role in ensuring timely and quality supplies to our forces, including during the Kargil war and the surgical strikes undertaken by the Indian army on various occasions.  They have worked day and night during the Kargil war to ensure supplies to our forces, without taking single paisa as overtime. Through their hard work and dedication, it is these workers and employees who have proved their commitment to the nation while the BJP government is trying to mortgage national security.

The strike today was total all over the country. Only the Group A officers and those in essential duties who were exempted, joined work. In many places they were working without signing attendance. Though CDRA (Confederation of Defence Recognised Associations) did not serve strike notice, they totally remained with the striking employees. In many places the central trade unions including CITU cadres have actively supported the strike holding rallies, street corner meetings, demonstrations etc in solidarity with the striking workers. Other trade unions including those of bank employees, central government employees etc also stood in solidarity with the strikers.

By corporatising the ordnance factories paving the way for their privatisation the BJP government has once again proved that corporate interests, not national interests, are at the top of its agenda.

On the other hand, through their total strike across the country, the defence civilian employees in the ordnance factories have warned the government that they would not allow national interests to be sold off to corporates, that it is the workers who would be in the forefront in protecting the nation and the country

CITU, once again, congratulates the defence employees and assures its total support to their struggle till they achieve their just demands. It calls upon all its affiliated unions and federations to extend all types of help, assistance and solidarity to the defence employees. It also calls upon the common people to support the struggle of the defence employees who are fighting to protect the national interests.

Issued by:
Hemalata
President

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns the unilateral move by the BJP Govt at the centre to virtually scrap the and abrogate all the provisions of article 370 of the constitution relating to status of Jammu and Kashmir by trickery unscrupulously evading the constitutional amendment procedure requiring specific advance notice and also not less than two third majority in parliament. 
 
Besides seious poltical fall out of such misadventure completely devoid of minimum scruples on the unity of people, in which BJP was never interested, it will provoke and pave the way for similar dishonest trickeries for subversion of the indian constitution on the part of ruling class and  their agents in polity in respect of its basic secular democratic foundation and also on other constitutional provisions relating to peoples' democratic and other fundamental rights. It bears ominous 
portents of similar attacks on the rights of the working class as well.
 
CITU views such unilateral move as brazenly authoritarian and fascistic and it tantamounts to murder of democracy and subversion of the constitution. 
 
CITU also denounces the authoritarian move of the Govt in putting the leaders of the leaders of the J&K based political parties under arrests or house arrest, besides scrapping their internet and mobile/telephone services on 4th evening onward and this authoritarian move was prepratory to their conspiratorial unilateral move of subversion of constitution on J&K. CITU also condemns the arrest/house arrest of com Yusuf Tarigami, MLA and also President of J&K Committee of CITU. 
 
CITU calls upon the working people to protest such arrogant, authoritarian and fascistic action of the BJP Govt through countrywide united agitation.
 
Issued by
Tapan Sen
General secretary CITU
 
 
 

The Central Trade Unions (CTUs) in its meeting held at New Delhi on 2nd August 2019 expressed deep concern at the decision of the Central Government to divest further 10% equity of NTPC through OFS (Offer for Sale) route. The present share holdingpattern of NTPC is 56.41% with the Company and 43.59% with market players.

Now with further 10% equity sale through OFS shall push NTPC to minority share holding of 46.41% and majority share holdingshall be passed on with private market players. In other words from a present‘Maharatna’ Central Public Sector Undertaking, NTPC will become a market players controlled private company.

NTPC has been continuously excelling its physical and financial performance. It has been contributing to Government exchequer higher dividend payment in every succeeding financial year. Out ofthe all total installed power generation capacity 3,54,000 MW in the country, NTPC alone is 55,786 MW and another around 15,000 MW is in the pipeline. As a singularly biggest power generation company, the ‘Techno-Economic’ efficiency of NTPC is the best in the country. NTPC has 53 power generation stations and 11 renewable energy projects. In 2017-18 NTPC earned profit of Rs.10,501.50 croreand the dividend paid to the Government was Rs.1,970.67 crore and in 2018-19 profit increased to Rs.12,633.45 crore and interim dividend already paid is 2,951.88 crore and more shall be paid as final installment.

The shocking decision by the Government is suicidal for the country.The only beneficiaries will be the private power sector players.The huge assets of the giant power sector CPSU are going to be grabbed by private power generators. Change in share holding pattern of the company is bound to seriously affect the employees in several ways including huge job losses.

The Central Trade Unions demand the reversal of the suicidal decision of the Government. Pushing NTPC to the control of market players shall amount to bestowing the dominant control of power sector to the private sector which ultimately shall push the price of power to prohibitive height and common consumers shall be hit hard. Agriculture and rural consumers shall be worst victims.

The Central Trade Unions appeal to all the employees of NTPC – Executives & Non-Executives, Permanent & Contract workers to forge total unity and launch united resistance struggles to stop privatisation of NTPC. And further appeals to the entire public sector power sector employees in particular and the public sector workers in general to extend solidarity support NTPC employees’ struggles.

CTUs – INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC and Independent Federations/Associations - take strong objection and condemn bulldozing of codification of labour laws and other laws in spite of strong objections from the trade union movement.

The government have made known their intention to codify various labour laws through an unconstitutional method of making it a part of the budget speech on 5.07.2019, ignoring the state jurisdiction of concurrent list in the Constitution.

Now, on 23.07.2019, the government has introduced the Code on Wages Bill 2019 and the Occupational  Safety,  Health and  Working  Conditions  Code  Bill  2019  in  Lok  Sabha.  The contents of both the Bills totally ignore all the points of oppositions and reservations on various provisions of both the Bills curtailing the rights of the workers and are prejudicial to their interests raised by all the central trade union organizations.

Contrary to the claims by the  Government,  these codes would enhance the process of exclusion of workers from the benefits they accrue from the existing laws, by simply raising the threshold level of number of workers for application of those laws.

The wage code has denied the agreed formula of wage calculation as per 15th Indian Labour conference, and add on 25% as directed by Supreme Court judgment in Raptakos case and which was repeatedly and unanimously accepted by 45th and 46th ILC. The Expert Committee appointed by the Central Government, which excluded any participation from the Trade Unions, to determine the methodology to determine the National Minimum Wage also went against those recommendations. But to top it all the Labour Minister, on 10.07.2019 unilaterally announced the National Minimum Wage as Rs. 4628/-pm, when even the 7th CPC recommends Rs.18000/-pm as the minimum wages w.e.f. 1.01.2016.

The  Code on Occupational  Safety,  Health  and Working  Conditions Bill  2019  replaces  13 existing Labour laws, making it applicable to the establishments, with ten workers, thus keeping 90 percent of workforce which is from unorganised sector/informal economy sector, outsourced on contract and homebased sector would be out of the purview of the code.

Most of these laws were enacted to address and regulate the service conditions of different segments of workers and employees like Sales Promotion Employees, Mines, Beedi, Construction, Working Journalists and Newspaper  Employees  etc  in  accordance  with  and taking care of the aspects relating their respective occupation specificities and peculiarities which were different and widely varying from one another. By repealing all these Acts and selectively picking up the provisions advantageous to employers only from these Acts for incorporation of the Code Bill and grossly diluting and/or tampering all the provisions pertaining to rights and protection of the workers in general, the Govt seeks to drastically curtail the workers’ rights, in their most obedient services of their corporate masters.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019 15:03

Comrade Ajay Mukherrjee  Red Salute

Centre of Indian Trade Unions  is extremely grieved at the demise of Comrade Ajay Mukherjee, a stalwart leader of the ‘Government Employees’ movement in the country, today on 24th July 2019 at Kolkata. He was 92.

He was one of the tallest leaders of the State Government Employees and one of the founder organizers of All India State Govt Employees Federation comprising the state govt employees unions in almost all the states of the country.

He led numerous militant battles of the state govt employees of West Bengal remaining in the frontline braving severe atrocities and victimization including dismissal, break in service and also physical attacks. Under his leadership, the State Govt Employees’ movement could become a leading militant component in the struggles against the semi-fascist terror in West Bengal in the seventies followed by ‘Internal Emergency’.

During the entire period since mid sixties, the state govt employees movement had been in the forefront in the strike struggles and bandhs, not only on the employees’ own demands but also on the democratic demands of the working class and people.  He also played frontline role in building and expanding the All India State Govt Employees Federation making it the single biggest federation of employees at the national level and also rallying the strength of federation in the united countrywide actions including strikes by the working class on common issues.

Com Ajay Mukherjee was also an able Parliamentarian championing the cause of the working people in Lok Sabha during the nineties.

Com Ajay Mukherjee’s demise is great loss to the working class and employees’ movement. CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences to his comrades and family members while offering respectful homage to the great contribution of the departed leader for the cause of the toiling class. Red Salute Com Ajay Mukherjee. Com Ajay Mukherjee Amar Rahe.

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary 

CALLS UPON WORKERS TO ORGANISE IMMEDIATE PROTEST COUNTRYWIDE

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns the hasty move of the BJP Govt on so called labour-law reforms which are all designed to replace the existing labour laws by four labour codes, meticulously removing and/or grossly diluting all rights and provisions of protection for workers in the existing labour laws. The exercise is also aimed at pushing out a large section of workforce out of the coverage of all labour laws through increasing the threshold level of employment in establishment and repealing of a big number of labour laws meant for certain specific section of employees/workers viz., sales promotion employees, working journalists etc.

The Govt today has introduced the Code on Wages Bill 2019 and the Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code Bill 2019 in Lok Sabha. The contents of both the Bills totally ignored all the points of oppositions and reservations on various provisions of both the Bills curtailing the rights of the workers and prejudicial to their interests raised by all the central trade union organizations.   

Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill 2019 repealed 13 existing Labour laws viz., The Factories Act, 1948, The Mines Act 1952, The Dock Workers (Safety Health & Welfare) Act 1986, The Building & Other Construction Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service Act 1996, The Plantation Labour Act 1951, Contract Labour(Regulation & Abolition) Act 1970, The Inter State Migrant Workmen Act 1979, Working Journalist and Other Newspaper Employees Act 1955, Working Journalist (Fixation of Rates of Wages Act 1958, Motor Transport Workers Act, 1961, Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service ) Act 1976, The Beedi and Cigar Workers (Conditions of Employment Act 1966 and Cine Workers and Cinema Theatre Workers Act 1981 etc. Most of these laws were enacted to address and regulate the service conditions of different segments of workers and employees like Sales Promotion Employees, Mines, Beedi, Construction, Working Journalists and Newspaper Employees etc in accordance with and taking care of the aspects relating their respective occupation specificities and peculiarities which were different and widely varying from one another. By repealing all these Acts and selectively picking up the provisions advantageous to employers only from these Acts for incorporation of the Code Bill and grossly diluting and/or tampering all the provisions pertaining to rights and protection of the workers in general, the Govt seeks to drastically curtail the workers’ rights, in their most obedient services of their corporate masters.

Even on Health and Safety related matters, the Code has so articulated the provisions as the workers and their unions cannot assert their opinions and rights for proper enforcement or establish the accountability of the employers for violation of even the basic health and safety provisions which is a common and daily phenomenon in the workplaces across the sectors throughout the country leading to loss of lives and disabling injuries almost every day.

The Code on Wages Bill also proposed to repeal The Payment of Wages Act, 1936, the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 and the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 while incorporating certain provisions of those Acts in the Code Bill selectively to the sole advantage of the employers and distorting and diluting almost all the rights and protection related provisions for the workers and employees. This Bill is also fraught with pushing out a major section of employees viz., Sales Promotion and Working Journalists of the coverage of the Act and left to discretion of the employers so far as wage is concerned.

Monday, 22 July 2019 17:06

Homage to Comrade A K Roy

The Centre of Indian Unions (CITU) is extremely grieved and shocked at the demise of comrade A K Roy, the veteran leader of the working class movement and a stalwart of struggle of the downtrodden for justice. He was 81 and has long been suffering from age related diseases. 

Comrade A K Roy joined the trade union movement in his early youth sacrificing his career in those days as a qualified engineer. He was active in organizing workers and also distressed people  in newly emerging fertilizer industry in extreme backward region of the then Bihar, now in Jharkhand. He was also one of the pioneer organizers and architects  of coal workers movement from its private ownership days in Dhanbad, and Jharia. Comrade A k Roy was associated with CITU since its inception and had been one of the oldest general council members of CITU. He was elected in Lok Sabha three times from Dhanbad/Jharia area and had all along been vocal in support of the rights of the workers and most downtrodden inside the Parliament. His eventful life solely dedicated for the struggle of the working people will always be remembered. 

Com A K Roy's demise is great loss to the working class movement and CITU in particular. CITU expresses heartfelt condolence to his family members and comrades and offers its homage of respect to the memories and great contribution of the departed leader.

Red Salute to com A K Roy.  Com A K Roy Amar Rahe.  

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Dear comrades, 

In Assam, 30 out of 33 districts are under floods. 36 people lost their lives and 54 lakh people are displaced. 90 percent of Kaziranga National Park is under water. Water level in Brahmaputra has been rising menacingly above the danger level across the state. Roads, bridges, culverts and many other infrastructures have been damaged at various places. 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions calls upon the working class in the country to stand in solidarity with the people of Assam, continuously facing devastation under floods. All possible supports and help must be extended to the flood victims. Assam State Committee of CITU is fully involved in rescue and relief operations.   

CITU  calls upon all state committees, federations and affiliated unions to  urgently raise funds and send immediately to the Assam state committee of CITU through money transfer to their bank account given below, positively with an intimation to the CITU Centre.

The details of the bank account of Assam state committee of CITU are as follows:

ASSAM STATE COMMITTEE OF CITU

Account Number: 0303010014036
UBI Branch ULUBARI
IFSC- UTBIOULU319

With greetings,

Yours comradely
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

CITU denounces the BJP Govt in a hurry to “pay-back” their corporate bosses through their hectic move of so called labour-law reforms which are all designed to replace the existing labour laws by four labour codes meticulously removing and/or grossly diluting all rights and provisions of protection for workers in the existing labour laws.

On Wednesday, 10th July 2019, the Union Labour Minister along with others has announced through Press Conference along with a PIB release that the Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill 2019 has been cleared by the Union Cabinet. The Bill repealed 13 existing  Labour laws and selectively picked up the provisions advantageous to employers only from these Acts for incorporation of the Code Bill while grossly diluting and/or tampering all the provisions pertaining to rights and protection of the workers in general. Even on Health and Safety related matters, the Code has so articulated the provisions as the workers and their unions cannot assert their opinions and rights for proper enforcement or establish the accountability of the employers for violation of even the basic health and safety provisions  which is a common and daily  phenomenon in the workplaces across the sectors throughout the country leading to loss of lives and disabling injuries almost every day. Such a move on the part of the Govt, totally ignoring the vehement and concrete opposition of all the central trade unions against such anti-worker and pro-employer exercise is totally condemnable and must be opposed tooth and nail.

In the said Press Conference dated 10th July 2019, the Minister boastfully stated that the BJP Govt is magnanimous enough to clear the Code on Wages Bill 2019 and also decide a National Floor Level Minimum Wage of Rs 178/- per day (Rs 4628/- per month for 26 days) below which no state govt will be allowed to fix the minimum wage for workers. This announcement exposes the bluff by itself.   To compel the state govt in that regard there must be statutory arrangement and the Code on Wages Bill does not have such provision.

Secondly boasting of magnanimity the Govt in declaring floor level minimum wages at Rs 178/- per day (Rs 4628/- per month) is utterly shameless and ridiculous. Already in 31 locations of the country, states and union territory together, the existing minimum wage rates are way above Rs 178/-per day. This announcement of the Govt will directly provoke and inspire the concerned state govts and employers to further suppress the minimum wage to lower it to so called National Floor Level for EASE of LOOT by the employers 

The Govt did not bother to implement the concrete formulae of Minimum Wage (based on 2700 calorie intake etc) decided unanimously by 15th Indian Labour Conference along with the Supreme Court Judgment in the Raptakkos Brett case in 1992, which was again unanimously recommended by 44th Indian Labour Conference and unanimously reiterated by 45th and 46TH Indian Labour Conference (2014) in which Govt of India was a party. According to the said formulae, the Minimum Wage works out to Rs 18000/- per month (Rs 692.3 per day) as on 2016 as recommended by the 7th Pay Commission. Further the Labour Ministry headed by the same Labour Minister had appointed an Expert Committee in January 2018 to decide the Minimum Wage and its methodology. The said Expert Committee even after tampering the ILC recommendation of 2700 calorie intake to make it 2400 arbitrarily, and also calculating the food and other requirement on the basis of 2012 prices, did recommend a minimum wage ranging from Rs 375/- to Rs 447/- per day (Rs 9750/- to Rs 11,622 per month). But the red eyes of the employers/corporate lobby did not allow the so called magnanimous Govt to decide the floor level minimum wage as per the recommendation of its own Expert Committee and the servile Govt ended up with shameless announcement of Rs 178/- per day. This what is the real face of the so called inclusive development of all touted the BJP Govt in its second incarnation.

CITU condemns such anti-worker decision and move of the BJP Govt  on Minimum Wages and Labour Law Reform and calls upon the workers and their unions of all affiliations  to unitedly oppose and resist such disastrous move and prepare for countrywide united struggle in the days to come.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary 

The  Union Budget 2019-20, presented by the Finance Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman on behalf of the BJP Govt at the centre has turned out to be deceptive assurance for the mass of the people without any substantive provisions and a series of bonanza and giveaways for the corporates in various forms. If the policy-intentions of the Govt pronounced in the Economic Survey presented before Parliament on 4th July are taken into serious account, the budget proposals are in the same direction to achieve a single goal, to ensure bigger transfer of resources in favour of the rich and corporate extracting and looting more viciously from the mass of the common populace, the working people in particular, who are actually creating wealth from the country.

When the country’s economy has been seething in continuous slowdown in employment generating investments in real economy, unemployment rate consistently increasing reaching above 7.4% in June 2019, pushing the overall employment  level in the country to 45 years low, budget proposals has not bothered to address any of these basic problems in a substantive way except pronouncing  funny steps of setting up 80 Livelihood Business Incubators and 20 Technology Business Incubators to develop skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industries, which are actually envisaged to facilitate corporate entry and take-over of agriculture including land rights and destruction of petty production. In fact the Budget remained in a complete denial mode in addressing the agrarian crisis by way of augmenting public investment in agriculture and agricultural infrastructure, easy credit facility to small and marginal farmers and assured earning to agricultural workers.

The basic problem of squeezing size of the domestic markets because of declining consumption level owing to deepening impoverishment of the common people leading to cut in the existing capacity utilization in industries and services and fanning increasing losses in jobs and livelihood found no attention in the budget exercise at all. The Govt sought to assuage the people by announcing its target of making India a 5 trillion dollar economy in 2022 just like the prime Minister in its previous incarnation announced to double the income of the farmers by 2021, but the situation has gone just in the opposite direction provoking more crisis and increasing spate of farmers’ suicides.

The Budget sought to pretend taxing the rich more by enhancing surcharge on individual income from above 2.5 crore. But that has been more than neutralized and compensated by a sharp reduction in corporate tax to the tune of 10% for almost the entire corporate community by bringing 99.3% corporate entities to the minimum level of corporate tax of 25%(from 35%). This has been done despite the fact that it is this same private corporate community who are responsible for default in bank loans and also for organised pilferage from national exchequer by way of not paying their due taxes like income tax, corporate tax and other taxes, the amount of total default being Rs 7,35,000 crore at the time of previous budget.  The budget has not mentioned a single line as to how such legitimate dues in national exchequer can be recovered, rather mentioned a slew of arrangement  on simplifying tax procedure including assessment for “ease of living” for the tax payers, more so for the defaulters under their patronage. Side by side burden on people has been increased by increase in tax in petrol/diesel and other indirect taxes.

The budget pretends to give certain concessions in tax and interests in housing loan up to Rs 45 lakhs in the name of ensuring so called “affordable housing”. But this will be more beneficial to the large scale real estate businesses, which are in crisis than to the poor who really need affordable housing.   

The Budget announced more liberal entry of foreign capital/companies in all the crucial sectors of the national economy including in financial sector. While chanting the slogan of “Make in India” the Govt has already embarked on the path of destruction of indigenous manufacturing capabilities by way of liberalization of import in defence production, railway rolling stocks and other crucial areas besides resorting to mass scale outsourcing of production to private agencies including foreign companies starving the concerned PSUs, Ordnance Factories, Railway production units etc. the Budget will further speed up that destructive process.

Page 3 of 34