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Press Release                                 

30th May 2014

CITU OPPOSES MOVE FOR
 ALLOWING 100% FDI IN DEFENCE PRODUCTION
 FOR DISINVESTMENT/PRIVATISATION OF PSUs

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly opposes Modi government’s move, as reported by the media, for allowing 100% FDI in defence sector. Such move is totally detrimental to the interests of the indigenous defence production network, mainly under government departments and PSUs, and also to national security-management and preparedness. Such move would also directly provoke disinvestment/privatization of the Defence PSUs and Ordinance factories establishment via corporatization route which could so long be successfully resisted by the united trade union movement in the country as well as all the defence sector federations including those having allegiance with the political party in power.   

The CITU also expresses its deep concern and strong opposition to the overzealous drive of the government to push through disinvestment of shares in highly profit-making PSUs, mostly in the strategic, infrastructure and natural resources sector of the economy. As reported by the press, the Government has reportedly taken up as their priority agenda for off-loading government’s residual stakes at aluminum major BALCO and also expediting disinvestment in other blue-chip PSUs already shortlisted by the disinvestment department of the previous Government.   

CITU urges the Government to take serious note of the unanimous opposition of the working people of the country, who actually creates GDP for the country as well as resources for the national exchequer to such disastrous exercises of disinvestment and privatization and unrestricted FDI. Such opposition has been voiced through numerous agitations by the united platform of the entire trade union movement in the country irrespective of affiliations and political allegiances during last five years.

CITU demands of the Government to restrain itself from such moves which are detrimental to the interests of the people as well as of the national economy; and calls upon the trade unions and working people to unitedly voice their opposition and put up resistance to such disastrous moves.  

Issued by

( TAPAN SEN )
General Secretary

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 09:52

Condolence Comrade R Umanath

21st May 2014
                                                                                                                

COMRADE R UMANATH

CITU deeply mourns the demise of Comrade R Umanath, a veteran freedom-fighter, stalwart of the working class movement and of communist movement of the country who passed away on 21st May 2014 at around 7-15 am at Tiruchirapally after prolonged illness at the age of 93.  

A life-long revolutionary, over seven decades of political and public life, right from his school days at Kozhicode; Comrade Umanath was a frontline organizer and leader braving atrocities, attacks and imprisonment during both, British rule and independent India. His entire life is a commentary of struggle and sacrifice for the cause of the country and its toiling people. Altogether he was imprisoned for nine and half years and underground life for seven years.

He joined the communist movement in his early young age as a whole-timer in 1940 to work in the-then Madras Presidency area despite pressing family obligation. In 1940s itself he was arrested by the British rulers and convicted for two and half years’ imprisonment. After his release from jail, he started working among textile, cement and beedi workers in Coimbatore area and among railway workers in Tiruchirapally in Tamilnadu organizing them in trade unions and led numerous strike struggles. He played frontline role in various capacities in building and leading the working class movement in Tamilnadu and also in other parts of the country. In early post independence period, the Left movement and the trade union movement had to face tremendous atrocities and attacks of hired goons and the police.  

Comrade Umanath was one of the founders of CITU and was elected as the first General Secretary of the Tamilnadu CITU in 1970 and continued in that position till 1993 when became its state President till 1996. He was the national vice president of CITU From 1987 to 2010.

He was elected to the Central Committee of CPI(M) in 1978 and became its Polit Bureau member in 1991 and continued as PB member till Kozhikode Congress in 2012, where he was elected as a special invitee to the central committee. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1962 and 1967 from Pudukottai in Tamilnadu and in the Tamilnadu State Legislatiure from Nagapattinam in 1977 and was re-elected in 1980.

Comrade Umanath had always remained concerned for inculcating revolutionary consciousness among the workers and activists of trade union movement considering the leading role of the working class in fighting and ending the exploitative regime. During his work at CITU Centre in the late eighties and early nineties, Comrade Umanath contributed valuable inputs in formulating the organizational document of CITU which is popularly known as Bhubaneswar Document.

At his demise, the working class movement lost a great leader and guide.  CITU Secretariat pays deep respectful homage to, recalls the great contribution and legacy of and salutes comrade Umanath and conveys heartfelt condolence to the bereaved comrades and family members of the departed leader.

      Tapan Sen 
 General Secretary

The CITU associated with eleven industry-wise federations operating in India. They are:

1) Steel Workers Federation of India
2) All India Plantation Workers’ Federation
3) Water Transport Workers’ Federation of India
4) All India Coal Workers’ Federation
5) Construction Workers Federation of India
6) All India Road Transport Workers Federation
7) Electricity Employees Federation of India
8) Sugar Workers’ Federation of India
9) All India Jute Workers Federation
10) All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers
11) All India Beedi Workers Federation.

Besides these CITU affiliated Industrial Federations, there are a number of Industry-wise Federations functioning in the country in various important industrial sectors, service sectors and Government sectors like Insurance, Banking, Oil and Petroleum, Chemical Fertilizer, Defence Production, Pharmaceutical Production & Marketing, Confederations of Central Government Employees, Federation of State Government Employees which are not affiliated with any central trade union but represent hundreds of thousands of workers. These Federations participate and contribute in big strength in the struggles of the working class in the country. Now amongst the leadership of these Federations there are important leaders who function in close coordination with CITU and these Federations are thus having close intimate organisational relations with CITU and hence can also be reckoned for counting the overall influence of CITU in the trade union movement of the country.

It is important to mention that the CITU has effective organisational presence in all the major industrial and service sectors in the country through different organisational structure apart from the federations noted above. The major sectors may be identified as Coal, Electricity, Steel, Heavy Engineering, Construction, Electronics, Oil & Natural Gas – production, refining and marketing, Petrochemicals, Fertilisers, Pharmaceuticals, Rail, Road, Air & Water Transport, Port & Docks, Telecommunications, Textile, Financial & other service sectors, Plantation etc.

The CITU’s understanding and perception about the whole idea of industry-wise all India federations has been to develop a unified common understanding on the approach and outlook and also to develop an organisation of the workers of the particular industry, on the basis of which a stronger countrywide movement can be launched. Further such Federations can play in developing the level of industry-wise countrywide consciousness of the workers of the respective industries and also address problem of uneven organisational development within the industry.

Our industry-wise Federations have played very important role in building up united struggles in different industries. CITU’s strength has considerably increased among the mass of the workers in the industries including the core and strategic ones.. CITU’s initiative have become much more pronounced in formulating the line and strategies of united struggles in different industry-wise struggles. Today any major industry-level united struggles cannot be even conceived of without active initiative and participation of CITU.

Some of the Federations working in public sector undertakings have recognised status in bipartite wage negotiations committee. They have also ties of friendship with several foreign trade unions working in their respective industries and participate in international T.U conference.

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02.05.2014

It is reported that the State Bank of India (SBI) has signed up Reliance Money Infrastructure (RMIL), an Anil Arnbani Group company, in a 'business correspondent' deal to source a range of banking services.The deal authorises RMIL to identify borrowers; collect, process, and submit loan applications; promote credit groups.take up post-sanction monitoring, follow-up, and recovery. As the service provider, RMILwill also collect small-value deposits; sell micro-insurance, mutual fund and pension products; and receive and deliver small-value remittances. According to the report the deal which was concluded onFebruary 25 this year had been made effective with retrospective effect from October 5, 2013.
This is nothing but backdoor privatization of the basic segment of the banking operation in the leading Public Sector bank like SBI-- the core area of lending, recovery and also a part of deposit collectionwork.

We fear that this strategy now started with SBI will make inroads in other nationalized banks.The outsourcing is being done to agencies controlled by the largest monopoly house which had beennamed by the CAG in a recent scam, having a clear conflict of interest striking at the root of the verypurpose of bank nationalization. Moreover, the Reserve Bank of India has blacklisted many of theservice providers engaged by AXIS BANK, HDFC BANK etc., in the recent past, mainly because these agencies breached the trust of the banks that have engaged them.

The amendment of banking regulations carried out in a UPA-NDAjoint operation inside Parliament has allowed a big number of private banks to enter into the field. The present move of outsourcing core lending cum deposit related jobs in nationalized banks is complementary to the former and the project isone of privatization of the entire banking operation and economy. This will be disastrous to the national economy, which could survive the global financial crisis primarily due to the nationalized banks. Thisalso exposes the real intent of the Congress and BJP policies in favor of corporate cliques, both domestic and foreign.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions opposes any move to privatise the Public Sectorl Banks in any form. This move must be resisted tooth and nail. The CITU extends full support and solidarity to the Bank Employees Federations in their struggle against this move. We call upon the people in general and working class in particular to oppose this atrocious move by the SBI.

Issued by,
A R SINDHU
Secretary

Monday, 21 April 2014 04:55

CONDOLENCE - KL Bajaj

18th April 2014

CITU Secretariat expresses heartfelt grief at the sudden passing away of Comrade K L Bajaj, Vice President, CITU after brief illness in a Hospital at Mumbai, on 18th April 2014. He was 79.

Comrade K L Bajaj joined the trade union movement in his early youth in the mid fifties and remained fully active in organizing the working class in Maharashtra during span of last six and half decades till the last day of his life. He took active part in Goa Liberation movement and was arrested and severely tortured in custody. He had to be hospitalized for more than a month after his release. He also actively participated in Sangyukta Maharshtra Movement. As a trade union and political activists he faced police torture and imprisonment several times.

In his early youth he joined RCPI as a political activist in the fifties and started working in trade union front. He later joined the CPI(M) in 1964. He was subsequently elected in the Maharashtra state secretariat of the party and also in the central committee of CPI(M).

Com Bajaj played frontline role in organizing CITU in the state of Maharashtra. He led the trade union movement in Maharashtra in various capacities and also as General Secretary and President of Maharashtra State CITU. He attended the foundation conference of CITU held IN May 1970 at Kolkata and got elected to General Council of CITU in its 3rd Conference in 1975. He was elected in the national secretariat of CITU in its 7th Conference in 1991 and continued in that position as Vice President of CITU till his death.

Despite his age and ailments, com Bajaj had all along been actively engaged in organizational and movemental work till he was hospitalized for the last time during early this month. He was highly respected and popular among all the trade unions and workers of all affiliations in Maharashtra and he played important role in uniting the trade union movement in the state on common issues of the working people.

The death of com Bajaj is no doubt a big loss to the working class movement. CITU Secretariat while offering homage in memory of the departed leader conveys its condolences to the comrades and his bereaved family members.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Saturday, 12 April 2014 06:16

May Day Manifesto 2014

Centre of Indian Trade Unions
May Day Manifesto 2014

On this May Day, 2014, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) warmly greets the working class and toiling people in the country and the entire world. On this International Day of working class solidarity and unity, CITU reiterates its belief in the leading role of the working class in achieving a society free from all forms of exploitation, a society where the great strides in the scientific, technological and cultural fields made by humanity are utilised for the well being and decent and dignified life of all sections of the toiling people and not merely for the service of a handful few. CITU rededicates itself to the endeavour for the realisation of such a society.

Fraternal Greetings

On the occasion of May Day, CITU extends its solidarity to all the struggles across the globe against the attacks of international finance and the multinational corporations on the people through pro-imperialist neoliberal policies. It greets all the women and men participating in these struggles, all the men, women and organisations leading these struggles, braving all odds, challenging the mightiest powers and making huge sacrifices.

The growing discontent and anger against the impact of the imperialist dictated neoliberal policy regime is reflected in the rising surge of struggles everywhere. Working class all over the world is engaged in bitter struggles against such attacks on their lives. The entire world has been reverberating with militant strikes and mobilisations with the participation of hundreds of thousands of workers across Europe, the USA, Asia and Arica. More and more people are raising their voice against the 1% rich and corporates amassing and expropriating the wealth created by the 99% of the people.

Struggles Against Imperialism

US imperialism continues its hegemonist machinations over the world through its military and economic might, dictating and imposing economic policies that benefit its giant corporations and financial institutions. Such hegemonic intervention by imperialism is integral to the machinations of the neoliberal economic order being sought to be imposed on the humanity by the international finance capital. It is continuing with its military and other types of interventions to subvert popular governments in developing countries, to gain control over their natural resources including oil and gas and establish its dominance over strategic regions. The working class in these countries is engaged in bitter struggles against such imperialist machinations and also against the onslaughts on their livelihood and rights by their respective ruling classes compromising with imperialism.

CITU strongly denounces all such imperialist interventions, intimidations and attempts to destabilise elected governments as in Syria, Iran, and many other countries across the globe. The latest intimidation by USA and NATO in the Ukraine-Crimea development also exposes the dubious ploy of imperialism. CITU calls upon all the peace and freedom loving people to raise their voice against such intrusions and interventions. CITU condemns the illegitimate US sanctions against Cuba and Iran in violation of world opinion.

CITU reiterates its support to the heroic struggle of the Palestinian people for their motherland. Palestinians have been fighting against the illegal occupation of their land by Israel which continues occupations, military attacks and bombing with the open support of the USA, defying world opinion. CITU demands the recognition of an independent sovereign state of Palestine with 1967 borders and Jerusalem as its capital.

On this May Day CITU greets the working class and the people of Latin American countries for their determined struggle against the plunder of their countries by imperialist forces. Their sustained struggles against the neoliberal policies which led to the victory of pro Left forces in several countries in the region including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, etc dealt a severe blow to US imperialism and forced its retreat from the region which was once considered its backyard. CITU strongly condemns the machinations and obnoxious attempts of imperialism to encourage coups against the popularly elected Maduro government in Venezuela.

While reasserting its bondage of solidarity with the working class of these countries, CITU firmly upholds the principle that the fight against imperialism is an integral part of class struggle against exploitation. It reiterates its strong commitment and support to anti imperialist struggles across the world and to undertake with priority the task of heightening anti-imperialist consciousness as well as the consciousness of international solidarity in the working class movement in India.

Greetings to Socialist Countries

Socialist Cuba continues to be in the forefront in the anti imperialist struggle in the region despite being subjected to more than five decades of economic blockade and constant conspiracies by US-imperialists. The great advances achieved by socialist Cuba in the areas of health and education, surpassing even many developed countries in several human-development indicators is a matter of great pride and inspiration to the entire working class. Cuba has played an inspiring role in motivating and uniting the people of Latin America against US imperialism. CITU salutes the working class of Cuba and conveys its fraternal greetings and solidarity to their untiring efforts to protect socialism in their country.

CITU greets the working class of all the socialist countries and extends its solidarity with their struggles in defence of socialism in their countries. On the occasion of this May Day CITU reaffirms its confidence that all attempts of the counter revolutionary forces and imperialist conspiracies to undermine socialism and restore capitalism will be defeated by the working class and the people in the socialist countries.

Global Crisis

Despite the claims to the contrary, there has been no respite from the global economic crisis for the workers and the common people. The response of the capitalist class to this crisis is paving way for a more destructive crisis. The burdens of the global crisis are being passed on to the common people by imposing the so called austerity measures and curbing their hard won rights and benefits. At the same time huge concessions and tax exemptions are being extended to the corporates and financial institutions responsible for the crisis. Working people across the world, in the developed as well as developing countries is specifically targeted for such attacks including cuts in jobs, wages, pensions, health care, and other benefits. The number of the working poor is increasing phenomenally reflecting deterioration in quality of work and menacing exploitation. Unemployment, particularly among youth and more so among educated youth has been on the rise to an alarming proportion. The World Federation of Trade Unions called for militant demonstrations, rallies and strikes against unemployment on the World Day of Action on 3rd October 2014. CITU fully endorses the call and calls upon the workers in the country irrespective of their affiliations to join the militant action on the World Day of Action demanding decent and dignified jobs to all.

In India

On this May Day, CITU extends revolutionary greetings to the working class and other toiling sections in our own country who have been in continuous struggles to defend their rights and livelihood. Hundreds of thousands of workers of Hundreds of thousands of workers both in organised and unorganised sectors, workers of big national and multinational corporations, employees of banks, insurance, telecom, central and state government departments, scheme workers and workers in other sectors are in the struggle path against the policies of the government. They are heroically braving the severe repression let loose by the employers with the open connivance of the governments while continuing their fight.

CITU strongly condemns the growing intolerance and onslaught of the capitalist class to any opposition by the workers against increasing exploitation. Brutal police force and armed goons of the employers are being used to suppress the struggles of workers to protect their lawful rights. Workers of Toyota Kirloskar in Karnataka are on continuous strike braving suspensions and victimisation. Mumbai Transport workers staged militant strike braving the ban-order and made the Govt to retreat. Hundreds of workers including the workers of the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki have been foisted with false cases and are languishing in prisons. Thousands of workers are being victimised. Trade union leaders and activists are booked under false charges including the charges of ‘attempt to murder’ for leading strikes and demonstrations. But workers’ struggles continued to be on the upswing throughout the country. CITU extends its solidarity and support to all these workers, trade union cadres and activists. It calls upon the working class of India to strengthen the unity developed over the last four years and further intensify joint struggles to defeat the anti worker policies. CITU asserts that broadest unity, country wide solidarity and persistent struggles are the only way to defeat such attacks and defend the rights of the workers and the people.

Peasants in our country are reeling under the impact of the agrarian crisis. Under the neoliberal dispensation, public expenditure on agriculture has come down drastically. Around three lakhs peasants have committed suicides, most of them poor and middle peasants, unable to pay their debts to private money lenders at exorbitant rates of interest. CITU demands increased public spending on agriculture, provision of cheap institutional credit, remunerative prices, public procurement and marketing facilities to the peasants and urges upon the peasantry, who feed the country, not to resort to suicides but to unite and fight against the policies that ruin our agriculture and pauperise the peasantry. CITU assures its full support to all their struggles on their genuine demands.

CITU also extends its solidarity to the agricultural workers in the country who are fighting for land, better wages, employment, social security, housing and better living conditions. CITU calls upon the peasants and agricultural workers to join the industrial workers and the service sector employees in the fight to decisively reverse the neoliberal economic regime. On this May Day CITU reiterates its determination to take the necessary initiatives for building such a united country wide movement of all sections of the toiling people.

India is a country of the young. By 2020, India is set to become the world’s youngest country with 64% of its population in the working age group. But the future of the youth of this country is being made bleak by the neoliberal policy regime fuelling joblessness. Unemployment, particularly among the youth and more so among the educated youth is alarming. According to a survey report (2012-13) by the Labour Bureau in Chandigarh, one out of every three persons in the age group 15 to 29 years who have completed at least their graduation has been found to be unemployed. The much trumpeted growth under neoliberalism thus proves to be jobless growth. CITU demands a policy that promotes job creation including the lifting of the ban on recruitment in central and state government services and full utilisation of the energies and talents of our youth for the development of the nation. CITU extends its solidarity for the struggles of the youth for decent and secure jobs, unemployment allowance and opportunities for their economic, social and cultural development.

CITU strongly condemns the social oppression and caste discrimination against the dalits and adivasis that still continues in this twenty first century. Neoliberal policies have in fact accentuated their oppression with a reported increase by 18% in the registered cases of violence against dalits between 2010 and 2012. The inhuman practice of manual scavenging still continues with the railways being the largest culprit of such practice. Large numbers of posts reserved for SC/ ST are not being filled up. Land is being snatched away from the adivasis and handed over to big national and multinational corporations. Minorities too continue to be discriminated. The government failed to effectively implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission for improving the conditions of the Minorities. CITU fully supports the struggles of the dalits, adivasis and Minorities against all forms of social oppression and discrimination. It reiterates its position that the entire working class irrespective of their caste, creed or religion must unite in the fight against social oppression and discrimination. CITU also calls upon all the socially oppressed sections to join the mainstream struggles of the trade union movement against neoliberal policies that further worsen their conditions.

On this May Day CITU extends its support and solidarity to the struggle of women to achieve their due and equal place in society. Globally, including in developed countries women continue to be discriminated in terms of employment, wages, promotions etc. Women’s presence in decision making including in the political sphere continues to be very low. Violence against women and girl-children, commercialisation and commodification of women’s bodies have increased under neoliberalism. Empowerment of women cannot be achieved without their economic empowerment through decent and secure employment. While supporting the struggles of the women’s organisations against discrimination, violence and for their appropriate representation in decision making at all levels, CITU also calls upon the workers’ organisations to mobilise all sections of workers including the men in the fight to end all types of gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the work place.

CITU conveys its fraternal solidarity to the struggles of the students for the right to education, against the privatisation and commercialisation of education. It fully supports their demand of the democratic right to organise and fight for their rights.

Attacks on Democracy

On this May Day CITU extends its support and solidarity to the brave workers and people of West Bengal who have been heroically fighting the barbaric attacks of the Trinamool goondas. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has let loose inhuman attacks on all democratic institutions including trade unions and the organisations of peasants, students, youth and women, particularly targeting those close to the Left parties. Hundreds of Left cadres, activists and supporters have been killed, thousands have been forced to leave their villages and take shelter far away, women are being raped, offices of trade unions and kisan-sabha etc are forcefully captured or burnt. People’s representatives elected from other parties are being threatened, forced to resign and are not allowed to function. Such violence continues unabated under Trinamool rule.

These attacks should be seen not only as attacks on the Left but on the democracy as a whole. These are the attacks with the purpose of physically decimating the Left in its stronghold because of its stiff, consistent and uncompromising opposition to the neoliberal regime. In other states including Kerala, Tripura and others, attacks against the Left are taking place in different forms including misinformation campaigns and spreading canards and lies. The ruling classes nurture the illusion that by such attacks the Left and the working class ideology can be made irrelevant and wiped out. Such illusions have never succeeded in history nor shall they succeed now.

On this May-day the CITU calls upon the working class to fight and defeat these onslaughts on the Left and democratic forces which are rock firm supporters of the working class, its concerns and struggles.

CITU salutes and congratulates the working class of West Bengal which is continuing to fight and coming out in increasingly larger numbers to resist the brutal attacks of the TMC goons. CITU pledges to continue with its efforts to rouse and mobilise the working class in the entire country, ideologically and organisationally, to unitedly fight against such fascist attacks on the working class in West Bengal and in support of their democratic rights.

Elections in India

This May Day, 2014 is in the midst of general elections for the 16th Lok Sabha in the country. CITU calls upon the working class and the people in general to seriously reflect on their bitter experience of sharp deterioration of working and living conditions under the neoliberal regime which was followed by successive governments that ruled the country, headed either by the Congress or the BJP during the last two decades. The working class must loudly voice their dissent and rejection to those policies and the politics behind them and assert for pro-people alternative policies championed by the Left parties.

The continuing price-rise of essential commodities, the menacing rise in unemployment, the inaccessibility of basic services like health, education, housing, etc to vast sections of the people—all due to the anti-people policy regime, have all led to the severe deterioration in the conditions of the people. Resistance is being met with state repression. Democratic rights are under attack. Policies are being designed for maximisation of corporate profits and privatisation of public properties; not for the welfare of the people. Corruption has become institutionalised with unprecedentedly huge amounts of public money being siphoned off into the pockets of the national and multinational corporates. Public wealth is being brazenly transferred to private coffers. The present policy regime is not only making the lives of the common people miserable; it is bringing out a severe distortion, perversion and disruption in the entire economy, polity and society at large. These policies and the politics behind these policies, under whatever brand name they are being sold, must be rejected lock stock and barrel.

In fact, both the political combines contending for power at the centre, led by the Congress and the BJP have been operating for the same neoliberal policies at the behest of international finance capital and to promote the interests of the big private corporations. They are attacking each other in the campaign trail but committing for the same neoliberal project of loot and plunder on the people and the country. The BJP’s main criticism of Congress is for ‘Policy-Paralysis”, i.e., for not pursuing the same neoliberal policies more aggressively. They hope to legitimise a more aggressive neoliberal project through these elections. The working class and the people must be made conscious of this fraud and be prepared to defeat it.

Many of the big national and multinational corporates are backing the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate. The corporate controlled media has been bombarding the people with a Goebbels-like propaganda of falsehoods and lies to mislead the people about ‘development’ in Gujarat. However all data related to Gujarat shows that despite GDP growth in the state, it has fared worse than many other states in several aspects of human-development related to health, literacy, nutrition of children and women, child labour, employment-generation, workers right etc.

Besides, the BJP has already started its vicious and venomous campaign to divide and polarise the people on communal lines for its electoral gains. The BJP manifesto talks of building Ram temple, common civil code, and revoking of article 370. The working class cannot allow such disruptions in its unity built so assiduously in the course of joint trade union struggles. CITU appeals to the working class to be vigilant against any such attempts to disrupt the unity of the workers and the people and defeat such malicious designs.

It is only the Left parties that have consistently opposed the neoliberal regime from the beginning and have all along supported, both inside and outside the Parliament, the struggles of the workers to protect their rights. A strong Left in the fourteenth Lok Sabha helped in the enactment of some pro people legislations like the MNREGA, Right to Information Act, Forest Rights Act, etc and in halting some anti national measures like disinvestment, pension-privatisation, deregulation/privatisation of banks and insurance sector etc. The policy alternative announced by the Left parties in their national convention is in line with the ten point charter of demands on which the working class of the country has been unitedly fighting during the last four years including conducting three massive country wide general strikes.

Hence CITU calls upon the working class and the people to fully support the Left parties so that the fight against the pro corporate and pro rich neoliberal regime, the fight in support of workers’ rights and for self-reliant pro people economic policies can be effectively carried out from inside the Parliament to force a reversal of the neoliberal regime. It calls upon the working class to decisively defeat both the Congress and the BJP in these elections and elect Left and non Congress secular parties so that a non Congress non BJP government can be formed at the centre.

The Appeal of May Day 2014

On this May Day CITU appeals to the working class all over the world, in the developed as well as in the developing countries to intensify their struggles against imperialist machinations and the neoliberal economic order imposed by it.

CITU appeals to the working class and all the sections of the toiling people in the country to defeat the Congress and the BJP in the crucial elections to the sixteenth Lok Sabha and elect the Left parties and other non Congress secular parties committed for democracy and alternative to neoliberal policies. CITU asserts that a non Congress non BJP government which should work to reverse the neoliberal economic agenda that imposes huge burdens on the common people is the need of the hour.

CITU appeals to the working class in the country to develop solidarity across industries, sectors and states to defeat the attacks on their rights, on their livelihoods and lives.

On this May Day CITU appeals to the entire working class to strengthen unity at the grass root level and heighten the struggle against the neoliberal regime to take it to a decisive stage to defeat these policies and also the politics behind them. CITU appeals to all sections of the toiling people to join this struggle.

On this May Day CITU appeals to the entire working class to be vigilant against any attempts to divide the working class and disrupt unity in whatever name – religion, caste, community, language, territory or gender. Unity and struggle are our weapons in our fight against oppression and exploitation.

Long Live International Solidarity of the Working Class
Unite Against Exploitation and Oppression
Down with Capitalism and Imperialism
Down with Neoliberal Globalisation
Long Live Socialism
Workers of the World Unite

 07.04.2014


Shri Oscar Fernandes,
Minister for Labour and Employment,
Govt. of India, New Delhi

Dear Shri Oscar Fernandes ji,

    It is reported in the print media that Govt. of India has directed EPFO, to amend the circular of Central Provident Fund Commissioner, dated 30th November 2012  which relates to, inter alia, definition of wages for the purpose of PF contribution.  I register my strongest protest over this decision of Govt. of India, which would reduce the PF related obligation of the employers at the huge cost of the workers- who are EPF subscribers.  

    After the circular was issued by the then CPFC Shri R.C. Mishra, it was put in abeyance.  A tripartite working group was formed to “examine various aspects of the circular” which had  CBT members representing employers and workers and also higher officials of EPFO.  I was also a member of the working group.     The unanimous decisions of the working group upholding the content of the EPFO Circular was finalized on 29th March 2013  and sent to Govt. Now after passage of more than one year the unanimous recommendation of the Working Group is nullified  and  the most important portion of this circular  is being now done away with by the Govt to benefit the employers class at the cost of workers.

    The most important part of the circular was on definition of wages.  It has been our experience that wages are split in several heads to keep basic pay low to evade PF contributions, by the employers.  The circular had clearly noted “the subterfuge of splitting wages to exclude PF liabilities”.     To my knowledge, after the then CPFC Shri R.C. Mishra, two successor CPFCs had also endorsed the circular as was unanimously recommended by the working group.

        I would also like to point out that this is happening in the background of two other important decisions – enhancing the minimum pension to Rs.1000 and increasing the wage ceiling for eligibility for PF enrolment to Rs.15,000 from Rs.6500 lying unimplemented, again to favour the same employers’ class at the cost of workers.  

    These decisions were taken by Central Board of Trustees under your Chairmanship only after the concurrence of the Finance Ministry. You and your colleagues had claimed that the Govt. wants to accept the long pending demands of workers.  It was also reported widely that cabinet had approved these proposals.

    Taken together, all these issues connected with the EPFO are being acted upon in such a way that legitimate dues to the workers are being denied while the employers being unduely favoured.

    I urge upon you that the Circular of EPFO as unanimously upheld by the Working Group of CBT be implemented forthwith. I also demand that the decisions on enhancement of Minimum Pension under EPS, 1995 and enhancement of wage-ceiling be implemented with effect from 01-04-2014 as already announced and propagated by the Govt of India.   

 With regards,

Yours sincerely,

(A.K. Padmanabhan)
Member, CBT, EPFO,
President, CITU

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