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Only the working class in alliance with the huge mass of peasantry and agriculture labour could resolve the agrarian crisis, stated veteran Marxist economist Prabhat Patnaik. He was giving presidential address in the reception committee of the first ever Worker-Peasant Rally on 5th September 2018 at BTR Bhawan, New Delhi.

Neo-liberalism and market forces are unleashing consistent assault on peasantry leading to resultant pauperization and proletarianisation causing large scale rural to urban migration and large reserve army of labour. The real hope in this period of primitive accumulation of capital is building worker-peasant alliance and 5th September Rally will be remarkable in making it a reality. In the era of Neo-liberalism Worker-Peasant Alliance is the alternative he said.

Chairman of the reception committee Prabhat patnaik presided over the meeting.  Tapan Sen, General Secretary CITU briefed the preparation of the rally going on across the country. General Convener ML Malkotia placed report. P Krishnaprasad, Finance secretary of AIKS, Babu Mohan National Council member of AIAWU and Anurag Saxena , secretary of Delhi state committee of CITU spoke. P Abhimanyu General Secretary, BSNLEU, AK Bhatnagar of AIIEU participated in the discussion. A R Sindhu secretary CITU placed the plan of activities ahead.  CITU president K Hemalatha, AIKS Joint secretary Vijoo Krishnan, KM Tiwari, Pushpendra Grewal, NK Sharma, Indrani Majumdar, Amithava Guha among others were present.  

The massive rally will be started from Ramlila Maidan and will culminate at Parliament. There will be seven sub rallies from different parts of the country.  Workers and peasants from all the states of the country will be participating in this massive rally.

The reception committee will facilitate accommodation for participants in the rally from 3rd September onwards in the camps at Ramlila Maiden and Ghaziabad. Workers from Delhi in large number will participate in the rally. 500 volunteers will be working for the success of the arrangements.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses profound grief at the demise of former Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri Somnath Chatterjee today at Kolkata after prolonged ailment. He was 89.

He had been a veteran parliamentarian having been elected in Lok Sabha ten times and played important role in taking up the issue of the working people and their rights and livelihood and also in defending democracy, secularism and federalism.

As a renowned lawyer by profession, he had taken up many cases in defence of the rights of the workers and employees against victimization by employers and the Govts. His frontline role along with others in the judicial battle against mass scale victimization and dismissal of railway workers following their countrywide strike in 1974 will always be remembered.

CITU conveys its heartfelt condolence to his family members and friends.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary 

A reception Committee for the historic ‘Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally’ on 5th September 2018 was formed with eminent Marxist economist Prof. Prabhat Patnaik as Chairman. In a meeting held on 31 July 2018 at BTR Bhawan a reception committee of 300 was formed with many eminent persons and intellectuals from academics and culture and social activists and leaders of different class and mass organisations. The Vice Chairpersons include Prof. Utsa Patnaik, Prof.  Jayati Ghosh, Prof. C P Chandrashekhar, N K Sharma, Kajal Ghosh, Vivan Sundaram, M K Raina,  Rajendraprasad, Prof. Surajit Majumdar, Prof. Archana Prasad, Prabir Purkayastha, Subodh Varma, K M Tiwari, D Raghunandan, Dr. Amit Sengupta, Adv. Somdutt Sharma, Sudhanva Deshpande, Malayashree Hashmi,  Vijay Prashad, Pushpendra Grewal, Maimoona Mollah, Asha Sharma, Subhash Lamba, A K Bhatnagar etc.

M L Malkotia, Treasurer of CITU is the Convenor and P Krishnaprasad, Babumohan, A R Sindhu and Anurag Saxena are joint convenors of the reception committee. Different sub committees are also formed for Camps, Railway Stations, Stage, Rally, Decoration, Medical, Transport, Cleaning and sanitation, Volunteers etc.

The reception Committee will make wide publicity of this historic rally among various sections of the society in and around Delhi. Songs, dramas, short films etc are being prepared to take the issues to the people using all mediums. Posters, festoons, etc are being prepared and wall writings are made in Delhi NCR.

Preparations are going on in Delhi to receive five lakh workers, peasants and agricultural workers from all over the country. This includes more than twenty thousand participants from Kerala and more than ten thousand from West Bengal. Organisations of employees – Bank, Insurance, State and Central government etc are coming in large number for the rally. Arrangements for accommodation are made in two camps one in Delhi and another in Gaziabad.  Apart from these camps people have already booked in hotels, dharmashalas etc. Preparations are also going on to make the rally colourful and attractive.

The meeting was attended by the Leaders of CITU, AIKS, AIAWU and Federations of employees.

More than three crore road transport workers in state-transport, private passenger transport, goods transport and small passenger transport like auto, taxi etc have staged a magnificent strike action throughout the country to voice their protest against and also determination to resist the draconian Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill which is still pending for enactment by Parliament. 

The draconian Bill presented by the Modi Govt is a design for paving the way for destruction of state-owned public transport corporations, wherever it is there; this will expedite the process of complete privatization of public transport system and take-over of them by big private corporates leading to monopolization and enhancement of the public transport fares to the detriment interest of the common working people; this Bill will also lead to mass-scale victimization of the road transport workers engaged in both public transport and goods transport including the small transport operators; the strike is also against the frequent rise in diesel and petrol prices making the public transport costlier for the people at large. There are other issues too.

The All India Coordination Committee of Road Transport Workers Organisations comprising all road transport workers’ unions affiliated to CITU, AITUC, INTUC, HMS, AIUTUC, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC and TUCC have jointly called for the strike action on 7th August 2018.

The strike was total in Kerala, Bihar, Odisha, Pondicherry, Assam and J&K. In Haryana, state transports were virtually off the road and private transport also joined the strike in a big way.   The Bihar Petrol Pump workers also went on strike.  In Assam there was total strike in private sector.  In West Bengal more than 80% workers went on strike in rural area.   In Tamil Nadu the strike was total in Private Sector and 60% of STU workers went on strike. In M.P., there was total strike in 30 districts and partial in other districts.  In Uttarakhand the STU buses were off the road.  In Meghalaya there was strike except flood affected area.  In Telangana the strike was total in STU and 75% workers in Private Sector participated in the strike.  In A.P, the Auto, Taxi and Lorry workers participated in 13 districts for strike.

There was partial strike in Tripura, Punjab, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.  In Sikar and Jaipur the auto-workers went on strike.  In Jharkhand there was strike in 8 districts.  In Delhi about 25% autos went on strike.  In Chattisgarh there was strike in 5 districts.

CITU congratulates the road transport workers and their trade unions for their massive countrywide united strike action against the retrograde Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill notoriously designed to destroy the state run public transport services and ensure monopolization of the public transport by the corporate sector much to the detriment of peoples’ interests. CITU demands that the Modi Govt must take a call from this magnificent strike action and withdraw the draconian Bill forthwith.                                                                                                                                    

( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

Demanding Govt notification on enhanced Minimum Wages
STRIKE TO CONTINUE TILL 9TH AUGUST

Around 4 lakh tea garden workers spread over in the tea plantations in the districts of Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Alipurduar and Dinajpur in West Bengal have started strike for three days from 7th August 2018 onwards, demanding, inter alia, announcement by the state govt the enhanced minimum wages for the tea-garden workers which is long overdue as committed by the TMC Govt in the state before the united forum of all the tea workers trade unions, irrespective of affiliations. The strike will continue till 9th August 2018. Thereafter the united forum of tea garden workers will meet to decide further course of offensive struggle.   

The united forum of tea workers trade unions have been agitating on their demands since last couple of years through various programmes including strike action. The TMC Govt in the state was compelled to respond through holding meeting with the united forum of trade unions and giving commitment to finalise the enhanced minimum wage for the tea workers as being demanded by the unions at the earliest. But even after passage of more than a year, no action has been taken by the Govt which compelled the united forum of tea workers trade unions to decide for three days strike action.

Till afternoon of 7th August 2018, strike is near total. Not only that, the striking workers from various tea gardens started marching towards Uttarkanya Building at Siliguri, the headquarter of the state govt in North Bengal. On their way wherever police force have stopped them, the striking workers in thousands started road blockade demonstrations paralyzing all vehicular movement. The entire north Bengal covering four districts today has been witnessing numerous road-blockade demonstrations by the striking tea workers determined to carry on their struggles braving atrocities by the Trnamool Congress Govt in the state. The strike has been so much massive on its first day itself that even the workers having allegiance to TMC trade union also joined the strike enmasse, while their leaders are moving with the state administration.  In such a situation, the state govt has again invited the leadership of the striking workers for holding talks through the Dy Labour Commissioner today evening.

Tea garden workers and all their unions of all affiliations are totally united and determined to fight to the last to achieve their demands from the unwilling hands of the TMC Govt in the state which is acting in favour of the tea garden owners.

Strike will continue till 9th August. CITU congratulates the heroic struggle of the tea garden workers in West Bengal and the magnificent unity of workers developed through struggle and calls upon workers and their unions in other sectors to extend support and solidarity to their ongoing struggle.   

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The All India Coordination Committee of Road Transport Workers’ Organisations comprising the Road Transport Workers’ Federtaions/unions of almost all affiliations have been consistently opposing through various forms of countrywide agitations including strikes the disastrous move of the Govt of India to amend the Motor Vehicles Act to include retrograde provisions to the detriment of public interests.

The proposed Bill, if enacted will pave the way for destruction of state-owned public transport corporations, wherever it is there; this will expedite the process of complete privatization of public transport system and take-over of them by big private corporates leading to monopolization and enhancement of the public transport fares to the detriment interest of the common working people; this Bill will also lead to mass-scale victimization of the road transport workers engaged in both public transport and goods transport including the small transport operators; the strike is also against the frequent rise in diesel and petrol prices making the public transport costlier for the people at large. There are other issues too.

The Bill was last deliberated upon in Rajya Sabha in the current Monsoon Session which witnessed loud opposition of the Bill from many political parties of the opposition and the Bill is yet to be passed by Parliament.

The All India Coordination Committee of Road Transport Workers’ Organisations of which the CITU led federation-the All India Road Transport Workers’ Federation (AIRTWF) is an active constituent has now given a call for countrywide strike by Road Transport workers on 7th August 2018 to voice their strong opposition against the retrograde Bill.

CITU extends its full support to the road transport workers’ united strike action on 7th August 2018 and calls upon the trade union movement and its affiliates all over the country to express solidarity to the transport workers strike on peoples’ cause in a big way to make the strike a total success.

Issued by
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

Center of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) condemns Modi government’s direction to LIC to acquire 51% stake in debt-ridden IDBI bank and also the IRDAI for giving permission violating its own norms of not allowing LIC to hold more than 15% shares in banks.

This move of Modi government will be helping the corporates, who have dragged IDBI into huge losses through NPAs, and the government itself by mopping up over Rs.13,000 crore from LIC to meet its fiscal deficit.

LIC is the only insurance company which is having a track record of 99.92% of claims settlement and is having the highest confidence of the public. This move of the government will lower the small investors like workers, presents, middle class employees and professionals’ confidence in LIC. This act of the government is also to favor private players in insurance sector.

In a letter to LIC chairman on 25 June, the biggest oraganisation of LIC employees, All India Insurance Employees Association (AIIEA), opposed LIC’s taking over 51% shares of debt-ridden IDBI bank.

CITU demands of IRDAI to withdraw its exceptional decision allowing LIC to acquire 51% stake in loss making IDBI bank and of the Modi government to desist from pressuring LIC to acquire 51% shares of IDBI.

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary  

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions vehemently condemns brutal and murderous police firing on peoples protesting against pollution by a copper smelter plant of M/s Sterlite at Tutikorin, Tamilnadu killing 12 persons and injuring hundreds.

The people of that region have been agitating since long demanding concrete action by the Govt to prevent the atmospheric pollution being generated by the Sterlite’s Copper Smelter Plant creating menacing impact on the lives and health of the people in that region. People are also demanding stoppage of further expansion of the smelter plant which has been under process. The matter was also taken up with judiciary and cases are still reportedly pending for resolution in both High Court and Supreme Court.

The agitation by the people on 22nd May 2018 before the office of the District Magistrate was demanding strong regulatory intervention against the extreme unsafe production process in the copper smelter plant as well as disposal of copper waste and also a ban on the proposed expansion plant of the project by Sterlite. It is surprising that the Tamilnadu Administration adopted such easy going trigger-happy measure on the ongoing agitation on such a contentious issue. And the manner in which police opened fire on the people makes it clear that the protesters are being sought to be given a lesson through indiscriminate murderous firing on them, may be at the behest of the Corporate master. Many of those killed had bullet injuries on their head and face.

The AIADMK Govt, a close ally of BJP led NDA Combine must explain as to what prompted them to approve the firing order on the protesting people on such a sensitive and vulnerable issue.

CITU demands strong action against those responsible for such murderous brutal act of firing on the protesters. CITU also demands concrete action for preventing atmospheric pollution by the Copper Smelter plant of Sterlite at Tutikorin and not to allow further expansion of the project unless all the contentious issues on pollution are sorted out to the satisfaction of the affected people of that region.

CITU calls upon the working people and their unions to launch protest against such brutal murderous act of the Tamilnadu Administration at the behest of Sterlite/Vedanta group.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

Demands the Government immediately implement the pro employee recommendations of Kamalesh Chandra Committee Report

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the nearly three lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) of the Postal Department for the magnificent united all India Strike. All the four GDS Unions (AIPEU-GDS, AIGDSU, NUGDS & BPEDU) are on an indefinite strike from 22 May 2018. All the postal employees’ unions have supported the strike. As per reports the strike is total and 1,29,500 Branch Post Offices remained closed.

More than 60% of the employees of the Postal Department are GDS and more than 80% of the Post Offices are GDS Branch Post Offices. Major revenue of the department comes from GDS. They are not treated as Postal employees and were paid a pittance. The Gramin Dak Sevaks have a great legacy of struggles and whatever facilities they are enjoying at present is the result of their bitter struggles along with the postal employees. 

This strike was forced by the NDA government which not only denied to address the long pending demands of the Gramin Dak Sevaks for regularisation as government employees, but refused to implement the recommendations of Kamalesh Chandra Committee Report on the service conditions of the GDS. The Committee which was appointed by the government to look into the service conditions of the Gramin Dak Sevaks had submitted its report as early in November 2016. The Union Minister had promised to implement the pro-employee recommendations of the report. Even after eighteen months the orders are still awaited. The GDS and their unions were forced to go on an indefinite strike after the government had failed to meet even the latest deadline of April 2018, it had promised.

CITU expresses solidarity with the striking employees and demands that the NDA government must immediately settle the issue by agreeing to the just demands of these grass root level workers who deliver valuable service to the common people.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses serious concern at the plans of the government, reported in the media, to usher in public private partnership mode in the administration of EPF and ESI schemes.

The issue of running EPF in PPP mode was never discussed with the central trade unions. The proposal of the government to involve private insurance companies with ESI was strongly opposed by the trade unions and the government had to keep it in abeyance.

CITU and other central trade unions have also strongly registered their opposition to the proposals in the government’s Draft Code on Social Security to merge 15 existing Acts related to social security including the funds under EPFO, ESIC, Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Fund etc and giving the responsibility of administering social security benefits through the state social security boards.

CITU once again reiterates its opposition to the reported moves of the government of India to run EPF and ESI under the PPP mode and calls upon all the workers irrespective of their affiliations to resist any such measures.

Issued by:
Hemalata
President

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