Super User

Super User

‘CONCENT’, the so called ‘Confederation of Central Trade Unions’, which is set to function from the BMS office, is nothing but a political instrument formed in a desperate attempt to manufacture consent to the anti worker policies of the BJP led government at the centre.

It is yet another attempt to disrupt the unity of the working class and the joint trade union movement, which the BMS deserted and got isolated after BJP, the political wing of the RSS, to which the BMS is affiliated, came to power at the centre in 2014. 

The discontent and anger of the working class was reflected in the recent period in the huge participation of workers from all over the country and from all sectors in the joint trade union ‘mahapadav’ in November 2017 and in the sectoral joint struggles that have been taking place in almost all sectors. Lakhs of workers, peasants and agricultural workers participated in the ‘Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally’ and vociferously demanded reversal of the neoliberal policies pursued by the BJP led Modi government. Tens of thousands of peasants participated in the Kisan Mukti March to the national capital, led by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, comprising over 200 peasant organisations across the country. The preparations for the 2 days’ joint trade union country wide general strike on 8-9 January 2019 are in full swing. The workers are all set to stage another historic general strike against the anti worker policies, the 18th after the advent of these policies in our country.

It is clear that not only the workers but also all sections of toiling people were angry at their deteriorating conditions. Employment, price rise and agrarian distress are major issues troubling the people. They want this BJP government, which was doggedly pursuing the anti people policies to go.

It is in this background that the BMS affiliated to the RSS, of which the BJP is the political arm, wanted to bail out the Modi government by creating confusion among the workers. Already such attempts are going on in various sectors. Recently it formed a so called ‘alliance of non political central trade unions’ by bringing together the breakaway groups and factions of a couple of central trade unions. A meeting of representatives of BMS, NFITU and the breakaway groups of INTUC and TUCC was held at BMS office on 8th December in which this so called confederation was formed. With the incumbent BMS president as chairman, this will function from the BMS office. They will draft a charter of demands, hold a ‘national conclave’ on 31st December and present the demands to the ‘group of ministers’ immediately for negotiations. Thus, this platform is claimed to give ‘solutions to the issues related to all Indian workers’.

It is to be recalled that BMS was part of the joint trade union movement which included all the central trade unions, since 2009. It was a party in drafting the common charter of demands of the joint trade union movement. It was part of the joint national conventions of workers held between 2009 and 2015 which gave unanimous calls for campaigns and struggles including jail bharo programmes and strikes. It participated in the two days’ strike in February 2013.

It had no problem in joining the joint trade union movement and participating in struggles on common demands as long as the Congress led UPA government was in power. But its discomfiture started when the BJP led government came to power in 2014. Even when it became clear that the BJP led Modi government was pursuing the same anti worker policies as the Congress led UPA government, it tried to postpone joint calls against by the central trade unions. Though it participated in the joint national convention of workers in May 2015, it backstabbed the joint trade union movement and withdrew from the country wide general strike on 2nd September 2015. This was done just a few days before the strike, after discussions with the ‘group of ministers’. Even when the government made no concrete assurance on any of the demands and all the other central trade unions decided to go on strike as decided earlier, the BMS announced that the ‘government was positive to the demands of trade unions’ and withdrew from the strike. Since then it has deserted the joint trade union movement. Obviously this was under instructions of its ‘political bosses’. Before the countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2016, the same ‘group of ministers’ constituted by the BJP government invited the BMS, which has not given any call for the strike and staged a show of having discussions; the government did not call the other central trade unions which called for the strike for discussions.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions extends full support and solidarity to the programme of indefinite strike by all employees and officers from 3rd December 2018 at the call of All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) demanding wage revision of all which has fallen long overdue, allotment of 4G spectrum to BSNL, revsion of pension from 1-1-2017 and other demands.

The wage revision for employees and officers of BSNL is their existing right which is being sought to be taken away  and denied by the Govt on the plea of DPE recommendation which is totally untenable. In fact the concerned Minister has himself committed for commencement of wage negotiation for the employees and after commencement of negotiation and its progress, the Ministry went back from its commitment. Owing to dedicated services by employees and officers,  BSNL has been consistently earning operating profit in 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 and the wage revision has fallen due for employees and officers since 1-1-2017.   Upward revision of pension has also fallen due from 1-1-2017 which follows from the revised wage pattern itself.

The BSNL employees also demanded allotment of 4G spectrum for BSNL which is being delayed deliberately by the Govt to allow advantage to the private telecom operators at the cost of BSNL. The Unions and Associations of BSNL have long been pursuing this demand which demonstrate their commitment to the company whereas dilly-dullying with this issue by Govt exposes their design of sabotaging the interests of the public sector BSNL in order to benefit the private telecom operators mostly run in partnership with foreign companies. While fighting for this demand, the employees and officers are upholding national interests which deserves support from all concerned.

CITU extends solidarity with the forthcoming united indefinite strike action by employees and officers of BSNL and calls upon trade union movement and workers of all affiliations to extend their support to the determined  struggles of the BSNL employees.

CITU also demands upon the Govt to see reasons and concede to the just demands of the employees and officers of BSNL who are actually contributors to BSNL’s earning operating profit during last four years, in the interests of all concerned.

Issued by
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns the desperate bid of the Govt of India to privatise Air India piece by piece in favour of the private corporate, foreign and domestic.

As reported in the press, the Govt has decided to go for strategic sale of 100% stake in Air India’s ground handling subsidiary, Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL). The Govt has been pushing through privatization of this profit making subsidiary unit of Air India, which has earned a profit of Rs 334 million in 2016-17 with a revenue generation of Rs 6.2 billion. The Govt has embarked on privatizing its profit making subsidiary AIATSL after its hell-bent effort to privatise Air India as a whole failed to get any response. Similar move of privatization in respect of its other profit-making subsidiaries cannot be ruled out in the days to come, since the Govt of the day is desperate in outright sale of strategic public assets and infrastructures by any means and at any cost, totally unconcerned of its disastrous impact on national interests.

And same desperate move of the BJP Govt at the centre to transfer public assets and infrastructure to private hands on a platter is also revealed by the Govt’s move to privatise six major Airports of the country at Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvanantapuram and Mangaluru. All these airports were modernized with huge expenditure of hundreds of crores of rupees from national exchequer through Airport Authority of India. And now these modernized airports, all in the state capitals, are being sold out to private corporates empowering them with unfettered rights and authority also to utilize the huge land assets under these airports for commercial purposes including building hotels, shopping mall etc. It is nothing but a design of loot on the crucial infrastructure but also the exploitation of huge land assets at their disposal for private profit. 

CITU denounces such desperate move of the BJP Govt to sell out public assets and infrastructure on a platter to private entities particularly when it is having couple of months left for its present tenure. CITU asserts that such desperate bid of all out privatization of everything  by the BJP Govt in a hurry must be resisted and CITU calls upon the working class to unite and fight such anti-national move of sell out and privatization. CITU is confident the working class will give a befitting reply to such retrograde move of the Govt through massive countrywide general strike on 8-9 January 2019.   

Issued by
(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

 

Cyclone Gaja which hit Tamil Nadu had caused huge losses/damages of infrastructure, properties and displaced many. About fifty people lost their lives.  Around one lakh people are in relief camps in Nagapatinam, Cuddalore, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Ramanathapuram, Trichy, Dindigul, Theni  districts. 

The cyclone had caused damages to hundreds of houses, uprooted over more than 5,000 trees and about 13,000 electric poles across the state. Life was severely hit as the supply of electricity and essentials was disrupted and transport was affected.

We demand that the state and central governments to take all possible steps to rescue and for relief and rehabilitation of the affected involving the people as was done in Kerala.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions calls upon the working class in general and the working class of Tamil Nadu in particular to stand in solidarity with the people affected by Gaja cyclone. We call upon the CITU union committees and members to involve in rescue, relief and rehabilitation works and extend all possible help to the affected.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Arun Jailtley says his government ‘missed’ adding MDM workers in the latest announcement on increase in remuneration of anganwadi and ASHA workers.

More than fifteen thousand Mid Day Meal Workers assembled at Parliament Street today,(on 19 November 2018) at the call of Mid Day Meal Workers’ federations affiliated to the central trade unions.  Workers from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, HP, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Manipur, MP, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, UP, Uttarakhand and West Bengal shouted anti BJP-NDA-Modi slogans and demanded immediate increase in their remuneration.

The presidium of the meeting consisted of Dr.B V Vijayalakshmi(AITUC), Kanta Mahant (CITU) and Sohila Gupta (AICCTU). From the central trade Unions Amarjeet Kaur (AITUC), A R Sindhu (CITU), Geeta Mandal (AICCTU), M Chaurasia( AIUTUC), Ujjaini (INTUC)and Ashok Ghosh (UTUC) addressed the gathering. A R Sindhu said that the scheme workers are contributing labour worth rupees one lakh crore to the development of the nation and our fight is a struggle to get this accounted. She called upon the mid day meal workers to make the national general strike on 8-9 January 2019 a grand success.  D Raja, MP and Sai Balaji, JNUSU president also addressed the gathering.

Jaibhagawan, General Secretary, MDMWFI (CITU) narrated the governments’ efforts to privatise the scheme and the resistance against it. The central government is not even considering the promise made by the HRD Ministry in the 45th Indian Labour Conference to increase the remuneration to Rs.3000 per month. When the government increased the remuneration of anganwadi and ASHA workers they just ignored the 26 lakh mid day meal workers and discriminated against them, he said. He also narrated different struggles of the mid day meal workers in different states and the achievements of increased remuneration, uniform, and medical treatment in case of accidents etc.

Thursday, 25 October 2018 15:01

Remuneration Increase for ASHA Facilitators

The AICCAW welcomes the announcement by the government that the monthly remuneration of ASHA facilitators will be increased by Rs. 1000.

In September a similar increase was announced by the Prime Minister, for ASHA workers, in recognition of their valuable contribution in the public health sector, in the NHM.  However, the increase is extremely small and far from the 45th ILC recommendation for regularisation, payment of minimum wages and provision of social security benefits and pension for all Scheme workers and so the struggle for these will continue.

The government has been compelled to make this announcement  because of the continuous struggles by these workers and also the intervention made by the General Secretary of CITU, Shri Tapan Sen, ex Rajya Sabha MP, with the Prime Minister and Health Minister.

However there appears to be some confusion regarding which section of workers this increase will apply to as there are differing reports in the media. The government should clarify this matter.   

It is also significant that the announcement has been made on the eve of assembly elections in 5 states.

The AICCAW calls upon the ASHA workers and facilitators to gear up for more intense struggles for their justified demands and to prepare fully for the two day General Strike declared by the central trade unions on 8, 9 January 2019

Issued by
Ranjana Nirula
Convenor

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the Govt’s total inaction in addressing the problems of Employees Pension Scheme - 1995 and the concerned pensioners despite the continuing persuasion by the pensioners’ organizations, and trade unions including CITU.

At the time of introduction of EPS 1995, CITU opposed the scheme almost singlehandedly since it offered much less benefits compared to contribution made by the workers throughout their service life. The matter went up to Supreme Court and the then Govt could get the approval of Supreme Court for the scheme by showcasing number of benefits being offered like commutation of pension and return of capital etc. But soon thereafter all those benefits viz., commutation and return of capital have been unilaterally withdrawn by the Govt arrogantly ignoring the opposition of the trade unions including CITU.  The utter deception as well as arrogance of the Govt has gone to such nefarious extent that those pensioners who could avail the commutation of a part of their pension as per the then prevalent rules are still being subjected to  continuous deduction in their meager pension amount even after the entire commutation amount is fully realized and such illegitimate deduction from the concerned pensioners has still been continuing for years together even after they have paid back the full commutation amount despite repeated pointers to such illegitimate deductions by the trade unions and pensioners.  This is nothing but forcible and usurious extortion on the EPS pensioners by the Govt which is condemnable.

Even after prolonged persuasion by the trade unions, minimum pension under EPS was made Rs 1000/- and the same was notified in 2014. But even this was not implemented properly and lakhs of pensioners are even now getting much less than the notified minimum of Rs 1000.

The Govt has been overactive in finding innovative ways how to curtail the benefits of poor pensioners under EPS and that has reached to a crooked extent. Even the clear direction of the Supreme Court to pension calculated on the actual pay at the time of superannuation provided they agree to contribute to pension fund as per their actual pay is being violated by the Govt through EPFO in a crookedly innovative manner by way of unjustly denying such benefits to the workers under exempted establishments despite opposition of trade union representatives in Central Board of Trustees of EPFO and the entire trade union movement as such.

Now recently the Kerala High Court has delivered a judgment on 12th October 2018 which has struck down most of the anti-worker amendments in EPS 1995 unilaterally imposed by Govt aiming at substantial reduction in pensioner benefits. This judgment has been given in response to a set of petitions by pensioners and their organizations.

The Modi Govt as usual is moving to deny the benefits of the Kerala High Court award by pushing the entire matter to further litigation which is condemnable.

CITU demand that the Government and EPFO should accept the Kerala High Court Judgment and also implement fully the earlier Supreme Court Judgment on higher Pension to all without any exception including those in exempted establishment’s category. Govt should also restore the unilaterally withdrawn benefits and also implement pending decisions of the CBT, which are beneficial to Pensioners.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

Central Trade Unions condemn the victimization and continuing repression of the Road Transport employees who are resolutely opposing the anti-people privatization of public transport by the BJP led Government of Haryana. The strike, at the call of the United Platforn of Trade Unions, commenced on 16thOctober and was to end on 17th October 2018. However to protest against the ferocious repressive steps of the Government the strike has been extended and is continuing with increasing number of employees joining the strike action.

For the last 3 years, the BJP Government of Haryana has been desperately trying to wind up Haryana Roadways and hand over the entire passenger transport operation to private operators. Such a move in 2017 was stalled by the trade unions through a militant strike action.  Now, the Government has again initiated steps to engage 720 private buses on lease to operate in state transport routes on ‘kilometer’ basis. It is obvious that such action of the Government is motivated to ultimately totally privatise the most efficiently rune public transport system of Haryana.

It is a matter of shock and anguish that instead of opening dialogue with the striking unions, the Government has resorted to vindictive and repressive action path. Union offices of AIRTWF, AITUC, INTUC in some places like Faridabad depot have been sealed.

Hundreds of workers have been arrested under ESMA and also other various non-bailable false charges. Suspension order has been slapped on nearly 500 employees. About 100 newly recruited employees have been issued termination notice. The government has started the process of new recruitment as well.

The Central Trade Unions demand that the government must release all arrested employees and withdraw all cases against them. Further orders of termination and suspension must be withdrawn.  

The Central Trade Unions emphatically demand that the Haryana Government must stop all steps to privatise the Public Road Transport operation and immediately start bipartite negotiations with the Joint Action Forum of trade unions to discuss and decide steps to ensure more efficiency of the public road transport operation in the state.

In the meantime the Central Trade Unions congratulate the road transport workers for giving a befitting reply to the draconian repressive measures of the government by extending the strike by two days. The strike has got full public support as well.

Central Trade Unions appeal to the working class of the country irrespective of affiliations to express solidarity to the striking employees of Haryana Roadways.

INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC, LPF 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the Haryana Roadways’ employees for the successful total strike on its first day (16 October 2018) of the two days’ strike as per the call of the joint forum of all trade unions against the move for total privatization of roadway services by the BJP Government of Haryana. NO bus is on the road today. The strike has got full support from the public as well. CITU extends full support and solidarity to the strike to save the public transport system in the state in the larger interest of the people. We strongly condemn the vindictive and repressive actions of the Haryana Government and the management of Haryana Roadways on the striking workers.

For the last 3 years, the BJP Government of Haryana is desperately trying to wind up Haryana Roadways and hand over the entire passenger transport to the private operators. Earlier in 2017 the Government has decided to issue permits to private operators in 3600 routes. It was vehemently opposed by all the trade unions except BMS and series of struggles were launched. Finally the Government was compelled to withdraw its decision in the face of militant united indefinite strike by the Roadways workers and declared that a new transport policy will be adopted duly taking the unions in to confidence.

But violating this promise, the pro corporate BJP Government in Haryana has been continuously trying for the backdoor privatization of the state transport sector. Now, the government unilaterally declared that 720 private buses will be hired/taken on lease by Haryana Roadways on kilometer basis and operate in state transport routes. The unions have opposed the scheme system tooth and nail decided to go for strike to save the industry. They called for 2 days strike on16 & 17thOctober 2018.

The Government resorted to vindictive and repressive actions since the strike notice was issued by the joint forum of trade unions. ESMA has been imposed. Around 250 workers and union leaders were suspended; union offices of AIRTWF, AITUC, INTUC in some places like Faridabad depot have been sealed. Leaves to the union leaders are also not sanctioned. In spite of such large scale repression, the strike is total throughout the state. CITU demands the Haryana Government to put an end to the vindictive actions, withdraw the proposed hire scheme for privatization and negotiate with the unions.

It is highly appreciable that the workers are giving befitting reply to the Government by intensifying the struggle and we are sure that the trade union movement in Haryana will defeat the government move to privatise the public assets.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses serious concern over the continuing physical attacks and violence unleashed on the migrant workers from Bihar, UP and other states working in Gujarat by the parochial and divisive forces with the BJP Govt in the state remaining a virtual indulgent spectator.  

No doubt, the incident of alleged rape on child is condemnable and the guilty should be punished, which is essentially the responsibility of the state government. But making this incident a plea for organized attack and witch-hunt on the entire community of migrant workers in Gujarat speaks volumes about the divisive and parochial policies and politics being practiced in the state by the ruling polity.  This is utterly condemnable.

Already more than 50000 migrant workers were forced to leave Gujarat during the span of last one week or so. The exodus is continuing.  While the policies being pursued by the government are the culprit for lack of employment generation and loss of employment, witch hunt and attacks against the migrant workers in Gujarat are being carried out with the slogan of “locals are deprived of job opportunity because of the migrant workers from other states”. It is to be noted that divisive and parochial entities like Thakore Sena and others nourished and promoted by the same brand of politics and policies are the ones raising such slogans.

CITU condemns such violence and attacks on the migrant workers in Gujarat and demands upon the state government to take immediate measures to contain such continuing violence by all means and deal the perpetrator organizations carrying on such violence on the migrant workers in the state.

CITU also calls upon the trade unions irrespective of affiliations including those in Gujarat to protest and oppose such violence and attacks on the workers and come forward in defending and protecting the migrant workers in the state from the onslaught of the parochial and divisive outfits.

Issued by

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Page 1 of 22