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Cronavirus has become pandemic one. The entire humanity is desperately battling against its catastrophic impact globally. India also has its own share of vulnerability and impact- so far two persons were reportedly died and scores were reported positive in the test, quarantining them is also going on war footing. Thus, it has heavily disturbed the normal course of daily life of the people. Many state governments have declared that the educational and other institutions would remain closed till March end and extension of this period is also uncertain. Similarly some companies and manufacturing establishments have also rescheduled their production plan. On the apprehension of its rapid spreading and as precaution, many state governments have proclaimed virtual ban on the locomotion of people from one place to other. Accordingly peoples are cancelling their travel plans.

CITU expresses its concern and solidarity with those who are experiencing the hardship with this pandemic virus and calls upon our affiliates to join the all preventive and awareness efforts wherever that are undertaken and required. In addition we are urging all the passenger aircraft companies and railway authorities to forego the cancellation charges, in the event of cancelling their travelling plan in the wake of cronavirus imminent danger. CITU urges the Central Government to take appropriate measures in this regard immediately.

Issued by:
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions strongly condemns the Modi government’s criminal act of steep hike of excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs.3 per litre. According to a notification issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, special excise duty was hiked by Rs 2 to Rs 8 per litre in case of petrol and to Rs 4 a litre in case of diesel. Additionally, road cess was raised by Re 1 per litre each on petrol and diesel to Rs 10.

With this, the total incidence of excise duty on petrol has risen to Rs 22.98 per litre and that on diesel to Rs 18.83.It may be recalled that the tax on petrol was Rs 9.48 per litre and that on diesel was Rs 3.56 a litre when the Modi government took office in 2014. CITU urge the people to understand this barbarity of the present regime towards people.

As the international oil prices are falling to such an unprecedented low, the prices of petrol and diesel should have been reduced at their respective retail outlets. But this government known for its insensitivity to peoples’ suffering who are already experiencing unbearable hardship in the wake of severe economic crisis and cronavirus, has not passed the gains of global falling prices of petrol and diesel to the people. Instead they mopped up Rs.39,000 crore by this hike to off-set its fiscal deficit which has taken a heavy beating due to its pro-corporate largesse.

CITU demands that Central government should rollback the rise of excise duties and urges them to pass on all gains to the people by reducing the prices of all petroleum products accrued due to the falling international oil prices. CITU Calls upon all its affiliates to strongly protest against this heinous crime of Modi regime.

Issued by:
K.Hemalata
President

 

Thousands of women workers courted arrest throughout the country on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8 March being Sunday) and submitted memorandum to Prime Minister and Ministers of WCD and Labour

Centre of Indian Trade Unions congratulates the thousands of working women throughout the country who came out on the streets challenging the ruling classes and courted arrest today, 6th March 2020, under the banner of All India Coordination Committee of Working Women (CITU), as per the decision of the 16th Conference of CITU. In many states, like Tripura, Gujarat and Karnataka, the women workers dared the police and broke the barricades and courted arrest.

This massive jail bharo programme was held on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March being a Sunday), which was participated by women workers from various sectors – public sector enterprises, textiles and garments, plantation, beedi, construction, brick kiln, anganwadi, ASHA, Mid day meal workers, other scheme workers from SSA, NCLP, NRLM etc, domestic workers, safai karmacharis, road transport, electricity, water supply, municipal workers, self employed women, street vendors, home based workers etc.  

The major demands are

  1. Recognise women’s work; include women’s unpaid work in the GDP
  2. Ensure equal wages for equal work for women in all sectors
  3. Implement the recommendations of 45th ILC, related to scheme workers
  4. Strict implementation of POSH Act in all work places
  5. Take effective measures to prevent violence against women; implement Justice Verma Committee recommendations
  6. Enact Act to provide 33% reservation for women in all legislative bodies at the earliest
  7. Withdraw the discriminatory, divisive and anti Constitutional CAA, and the NPR/ NRC process at once.

In Andhra Pradesh in all 13 districts, programme was held. Thousands of workers from different sectors courted arrest and also submitted memorandum on the issues. In Bihar the programme was held in 15 districts. Women workers from Anganwadi, ASHA, MDM, Beedi etc participated. In Chhattisgarh, in five districts including Rajnandgaon, Bhilai, Ballod anganwadi workers, contract workers etc courted arrest.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses serious concern over the cut in interest rate on Employees Provident Fund (EPF) from 8.65% to 8.5%. In the meeting of Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of EPFO held on 5th March 2020, the workers’ representatives in CBT expressed strong dissatisfaction and resentment over the same.

The Govt pleaded that earnings on investment of EPF corpus has gone down from Govt Securities and other investment instruments and the interest rate has been reduced. But more than 65% of the incremental deposits in EPF has been invested in Govt Securities. The policy of the Govt to continuously lower the interest rate on small savings including social security savings led to lower earnings/return on investment of EPFO corpus and hence the interest rate on the same.

CITU condemns such anti-worker policies of the BJP Govt at the centre. The social security savings of the workers, most of which are parked in Govt Securities are long term recurring deposits at the disposal of the Govt. The trade unions are justly demanding since long differential rate of interest on social security savings of the workers higher than the interest rate on commercial credit/deposits. But the successive governments under neoliberal regime have been continuously lowering the interests rates on social security savings of the workers and all small savings instruments in general leading to huge loss of earnings of crores of workers and superannuated persons on which they survive in their old age. Simultaneously, the same Govt is so liberal in drastically reduce the corporate tax rates and also tax rates on returns on speculative investments in stock market. Such policy of the Govt is totally discriminatory against the crores of toiling people who actually create GDP and generate revenues in the national exchequer. It is nothing but loot on crores of working people to benefit the private corporate and speculators.

CITU denounces such anti-worker and pro-corporate and pro-speculator policies of the Govt and calls upon the workers and the people to unite and fight against the neoliberal policy regime which is looting the people to benefit the private corporate and speculators, both domestic and foreign.  

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary 

There is a drastic decline in women’s workforce participation rate in our country in the recent past. At the same time women’s unemployment is also increasing. Because of the alarmingly rising unemployment rates, which have reached levels unprecedented in the last 45 years, women are compelled to take up highly underpaid and unpaid activities to sustain their families. Unpaid domestic work by women, including care work is increasing. It is highly regrettable that over 80 lakh women employed under the various schemes of the government of India like ICDS, NHM, Midday Meal Programme, SSA, NCLP, NRLM etc, are not even recognised as ‘workers’ and paid minimum wages and provided social security benefits.

Violence against women and children has highly increased. The Act, against sexual harassment of women at workplace is implemented in the breach. Sexual harassment at workplace has reached alarming levels.

Women’s reservation bill has not been passed yet. The share of women in political decision making remains abysmally low more than 70 years after Independence. Because of the low levels of economic participation and health, India’s rank in World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index has slipped to 112.

Around 87% women in our country do not have any property in their names and property records. Overwhelming majority of women workers are employed in the unorganised sector, are poor, illiterate and many of them as in construction, brick kiln etc are migrating in search of work. It is impossible for them to have the necessary documents to prove their citizenship under the NRC. They will be the worst to be affected by the CAA, passed by the government, which is also discriminatory and against the tenets of our Constitution.

The All India Coordination Committee of Working Women (CITU) has been raising issues related to the wages, working conditions, sexual harassment, and the basic democratic and workplace rights of women workers since long. But the situation instead of improving has been worsening day by day.

In this context, we the working women of India, under the banner of AICCWW (CITU) will be courting arrest across the country on 6th March 2020, on the occasion of International Women’s Day (8 March being a Sunday) an International Day of asserting women’s rights, to highlight the following demands:

  1. Recognise women’s work; include women’s unpaid work in the GDP
  2. Ensure equal wages for equal work for women in all sectors
  3. Implement the recommendations of 45th ILC, related to scheme workers
  4. Strict implementation of POSH Act in all work places
  5. Take effective measures to prevent violence against women; implement Justice Verma Committee recommendations
  6. Enact Act to provide 33% reservation for women in all legislative bodies at the earliest
  7. Withdraw the discriminatory, divisive and anti Constitutional CAA, and the NPR/ NRC process at once.

Thousands of working women from organized and unorgansied secotros under the banner of AICCWW (CITU) will counrt arrest at district level throughout the country. 

In Delhi, the programme will be held at janatar mantar at 11.30am

Issued by
A.R.Sindhu
Convener AICCWW and Secretary, CITU

The gruesome communal violence orchestrated by the RSS- BJP combine has led to loss of more than 44 lives, extensive destruction of homes property and livelihoods in North East Delhi. Most of the affected belong to unorganized sector workers, migrant workers and lower middle class households from both the communities. The role of the police and the BJP government at the centre are highly condemnable.  Hundreds have to flee their homes and are staying in shelter homes.  There is an atmosphere of fear anxiety and mistrust among the people.

Delhi state committee of CITU is actively involved in organising relief and rehabilitation work besides working in peace committees and among the victims across communities. A Solidarity and Relief Committee is being formed to undertake this task.

CITU calls upon the working people all over India to contribute generously to the Relief Fund. CITU calls upon all state committees, Federations and affiliated unions to collect relief fund for the relief and rehabilitation of the riot victims. .

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions congratulates the employees and officers of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) who went on one-hour-strike today on 4th February 2020 in all the LIC establishments across the country against the anti-national move of the Modi government to disinvest Central government holdings in the LIC.

In the Union Budget announced on Saturday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the government, which holds 100 percent stake in LIC, will sell a part of its holding through an initial public offering (IPO). It’s nothing but an anti national move as it is, besides self-reliant Indian economy being placed at altar of private capital-both domestic and foreign, playing with the life of more than 42 crore policy holders.

Immediately after this retrograde announcement by the Modi government, the employees led by All India Insurance Employees Association(AIIEA) and Officers led by LIC Class I Officers Association and National Federation of Field Workers Association came out in protest demonstrations through-out the country and called for one-hour-strike action from 12pm to 1pm today-4th February 2020. It evoked magnificent massive response from all employees and officers.

CITU, while congratulating them for their patriotic struggles to protect the national assets- LIC and the life of 42 crore policy-holders, expresses its solidarity and unflinching support to their future course of actions to defend the national interest against the anti-national moves by the BJP Govt at the centre  

Issued by 
Tapan Sen
General Secretary 

Union Budget 2020-21 presented today by the BJP Govt is full of sounds but little substance. In the background of continuing slowdown in the economy, increasing miseries, widening impoverishment of the people at large, alarming rise of unemployment, the union Budget did do nothing to address any of these issues except pronouncing ornamental sound-bites in the name of “prime minister Modi”.

The claim made in the budget speech about lifting 271 million people above the poverty line is the crudest example of such sound-bites with a deceptive intent. Numerous studies revealed the intensification of the poverty situation in the country including the NSSO report on more than 8 per cent fall in rural consumption expenditure and that testifies the falsity of such claim.

Similarly, lot of noise is made in the budget speech about the success of “Beti bachao and Beti parao” and other women welfare related programmes. But in reality, women work participation rate has been drastically coming down during last few years consistently; the same period also witnessed increasing incidents of violence and atrocities against women, many times with patronage of those in power; worst discrimination against working women is continuing subjecting them to 31 per cent less wages compared to their male counterpart for the same work done. And finally budget allocation on ‘beti-bachao, beti parao’ has been further reduced by over Rs 20 crore. The exercise of deception continues.

There are numerous other examples of such false claim on peoples’ welfare and employment generation in the entire budget speech which do not match with budgetary figures. The Budget speech talked loudly about augmenting investment in infrastructure countrywide, but most of the same appear  to be dependent on the response of private sectors, which is not expected to be forthcoming in present scenario of economic slowdown.  For example, 1,37,000 acre potential oil/gas field were allotted for exploration by private sector entities during last five years; nothing has been produced as yet.

And a mere Rs 3.43 lakh crore increase in nominal term in total estimated expenditure in the current budget (2020-21) compared to revised estimate of expenditure in the previous budget (2019-2020) also explodes the falsity of such loud announcement on infrastructure and employment generating investment in the budget speech. On account of agriculture & allied services and rural development (which accounts for more than 50% of the country’s population) budgetary allocation has been increased by mere Rs 19000 crore compared to last budget which is actually a reduction or no increase in real terms , even inflation is taken into account.

Budget speech made noise about ensuring ‘ease of living’ for individual citizens. But it moved in just opposite direction. Food subsidy channelized through Food Corporation of India (FCI) for public distribution system has been cut by Rs 76000 crore, even when India’s ranking has drastically slid down in the Global Hunger Index. Even MNREGA, Ayushman Bnarat, PMJAY and PM-KISAN suffered drastic cut in allocation.  It spelt nothing about improving the conditions of the working people who actually create wealth for the nation by responding to their basic demands viz., increase in minimum wage, universalizing social welfare benefit, equal pay for equal work etc; scheme workers in anganwadi, mid-day-meal, ASHA  etc are still being subjected to humiliating exploitation having been denied even the statutory minimum wage and social security benefits, nothing has been provided for this one crore strong workforce giving yeoman service to the entire society.                                                                                                                                             

Budget proposed to reduce personal income tax rates for the benefit of the workers.  But this benefit would get more than neutralized by the discontinuance of the deduction/rebate they were entitled to arrive at taxable income as per the new scheme. On the other hand the Govt has become more than liberal in giving concessions to big business and corporate houses by way of sharp reduction in corporate tax, dividend-distribution tax and in the name of simplification of tax regime. While doing so, the Budget speech repeated numerous times the statement of the prime minister that those big business/corporate are the “wealth creator” of the nation. In fact they are looting the resources created by the producing people in industries, services and agriculture. As per Receipt Budget presented along with the Budget (2020-21) total accumulated unpaid direct tax from the same corporate community during last five years has reached Rs 7.63 lakh crore out of which Rs 1.30 lakh crore is not under any dispute.  The Govt talks loud about “ease of living” but in action they are obsessed with ensuring “ease of doing business” of handful of big business houses, both foreign and domestic.

Friday, 31 January 2020 18:50

Human Chain against CAA/NRC/NPR

Hundreds of workers took part in the formation of human chain all over the country. At the call of the Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Andolan(JEJAA), human chain was organized in hundreds of places on 30 January 2020, the martyrdom day of father of the Nation,  who was murdered by a hindutva fanatic. The call was given against CAA,  NRC, NPR and the efforts to communally divide the country and destroy the constitutional values. 
16th conference of CITU gave a call to join the protest all over the country against CAA/NRC/NPR and link it with the people's struggles on livelihood issues to build up a sustained movement.
 
 
Calls for intensification of struggles 
Widen unity and mobilize people to save our country from the anti people authoritarian Modi Government 
K Hemalata,  Tapan Sen and M L Malkotia reelected as President,  GS and Treasurer respectively. 
 
The 16 conference of CITU concluded in Chennai today, 27 January 2020 with a callfor intensification of struggles, widen unity of the basic classes and mobilize people to save our country from the anti people authoritarian Modi Government.
The conference elected 39 office bearers, 125 working committee members and 425 General council members. 
K Hemalata,  Tapan Sen and M L Malkotia reelected as President,  GS and Treasurer respectively. 
The conference decided to strengthen the struggles against the anti labour policies independently and jointly. 
CITU conference called upon the working class of the country to take the lead in the fight against the draconian CAA and ensure that the questions of NPR is not answered by the people of the country. 
The newly elected leadership participated in the rally which passed through the Mount Road in Chennai any rally in last 15 years.
The public meeting was presided over by A SOUNDARARAJAN,  TN state president and national Vice president CITU. Sukumaran, GS, TN CITU extended welcome address. 
The meeting was addressed by Tapan Sen,  K Hemalata,  A K Padmanabhan and Michael Makwaiba, President WFTU.
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