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The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounced the brutal lathicharge by police on the peaceful procession at Kolkata on 1st October 2015 demanding impartial role of police in maintaining law and order and protection of citizens' rights instead playing a partisan role in protecting as well as assisting the TMC hooligans perpetrating atrocities on the peace loving-people.
The procession to police headquarter at Lalbazar, Kolkata was organised by Kolkata District Left Front Committee which was joined by mass of the common people to voice their indignation against the affront on the democratic rights of the people by the TMC hoodlums at the behest of the state govt in order to silence the people from even expressing their dissent to intolerable misrule and anarchy by the state govt in all walks of life. The programme had been to submit a memorandum to police headquarter urging them to play their mandated role as per the constitution of the country in an impartial, non-partisan manner.

The procession comprising several thousands of people, men and women was totally peaceful and the police pounced upon the peaceful rally without any provocation in the same style of TMC hoodlums and brutally lathicharged severely injuring many including several women.. General Secretary of West Bengal CITU, Dipak Das Gupta sustained severe head injury and had to be admitted in Hospital.

CITU condemns such brutal attack on the people without any provocation which is nothing but a ploy of the TMC Govt to terrorise and silence all opposition to their disastrous misrule in the state. The workers in the state also are facing similar atrocities by TMC-goons-Police combine in their day to day struggles including the on the occasion of last countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2015.

CITU calls upon the working class and people from all walks of life to unite and resist such fascistic and hoodlum regime in the state by unitedly asserting their democratic rights to oppose, protest and resist on every occasion and opportunities of expressing themselves in defence of democracy. CITU calls upon the CITU committees in other states to take initiative to organize solidarity in support of struggling people in West Bengal.

Issued by,

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

All India General Strike, 2nd September 2015

 Millions of workers have so far participated in the preparatory meetings and rallies in support of the nationwide General Strike on 2nd September 2015, called by the Platform of Central Trade Unions and National Federations of Employees. The unprecedented support from the workers shows the urge for changing the current economic policies that have put the workers and peasants into tremendous crisis. The united platform of the trade unions consists of 11 central trade unions viz. BMS, INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC, LPF and All India Federations of Banks, Insurance, Defense, Telecom, Central/State Government Employees and other Service Establishments. A National convention of these organisations held on 26 May 2015 had given the call for General Strike on 2nd September 2015. The trade unions have served a demand notice to the Centre and States Governments that consists a 12-point Charter of demands which includes the following:
1. Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of Public Distribution System and banning speculative trade in commodity market.
2. Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation.
3. Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violation of labour laws.
4. Universal social security cover for all workers.
5. Minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000/- per month with provisions of indexation.
6. Assured enhanced pension not less than Rs.3,000/- p.m. for the entire working population.
7. Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs.
8. Stoppage of contractual work in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work.
9. Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus and provident fund; increase the quantum of gratuity.
10. Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions C 87 and C 98.
11. Stoppage of Pro Employer Labour Law Amendments.
12. Stoppage of FDI in Railways, Insurance and Defense.
In addition to these the central trade unions are also demanding the withdrawal of the Land Acquisition amendment ordinance.
This charter of demands has got support not only from farmers but also youth and students of the country. The main concern of the trade unions are the drastic changes the Central and several State Governments intending to bring to the labour laws, including the Industrial Disputes Act. These labour law amendments whether by the government of India or by different state governments led by the BJP ruled Rajasthan government or Madhya Pradesh government, are aimed at empowering the employers to ‘hire and fire’ workers at their sweet will. They enable the employers to declare closures/ shut downs and retrench/lay off workers as well as to resort to mass scale conctractualization. They would push more than seventy percent of the industrial establishments in the country and their workers out of the purview of almost all labour laws.
All the Central Trade Unions have convened their national level meetings and chalked out programmes for independent and joint campaigns. All the Central Trade Unions have also held their own organizational meetings at state level. Those initiatives have resulted in successful holdings of the state level and sectoral conventions of all the Trade Unions and Federations. Starting from West Bengal, all the states have organized joint Conventions and adopted resolutions calling upon the unions and federations in the state to join the countrywide strike. National leaders of Central Trade Unions have attended these conventions, raising enthusiasm among the delegates participating. An important development in these conventions is the participation of state level organizations, mostly guided by the regional political parties. These organizations include the Trade Union wings or guided organizations of Shiv Sena, Telengana Rajya Samithi, Telugudesam, MDMK, DMDK and VCK in Tamilnadu, JMM in Jharkhand. In Kerala all the regional trade unions including those attached to ruling parties in the state have been participating in the countrywide strikes conducted after 2009. There are also organizations at state level, not attached to any political parties, but led by individuals or functioning as independent organizations like Working Peoples Council in Tamilnadu, which are also participating in the strike. State level conventions of the trade unions have been completed in all the states. Joint meetings and conventions were held in different sectors both organised and unorganised – Public sector units, Coal, Petroleum, Steel, Port and Dock, Road Transport, Electricity, Defense, Banking, Insurance, Telecom, State and Central Governemnt employees, Scheme workers, Construction workers etc. were held. Strike notices - union wise as well as joint are given in different sectors from 14- 18 August. Our farmers and agricultural workers are on the path of suicides, not able to withstand the blood sucking policies of the ruling class. Various sections of farmers and agricultural workers are already on struggle. The distress the Indian villages are facing is the result of the inhuman and exploitative policies being pursued by the rulers. It is for the working class of the country to be in the forefront of struggles against these policies and give confidence to all other sections of toiling masses in their struggles. The solidarity of all sections of toilers has to be strengthened. The unity of the Trade Unions on the basis of an agreed charter and the struggles being conducted have to be developed into a massive struggle against the anti-people, neo-liberal policies.
The countrywide General strike on 2nd September, should mark the beginning of a new phase of struggle. This one day general strike will turn into a massive action to warn the ruling class against their policies. We should force a change in the policy trajectory of the country and working people should move towards that as a united force.

Issued by
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)

Tuesday, 25 August 2015 11:34

12 POINT CHARTER OF DEMANDS

Urgent measures for containing price-rise through universalisation of public distribution system and banning speculative trade in commodity market

Containing unemployment through concrete measures for employment generation

Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violation of labour laws.

Universal social security cover for all workers

Minimum wages of not less than Rs 15,000/- per month with provisions of indexation

Assured enhanced pension not less than Rs.3,000/- p.m. for the entire working population

Stoppage of disinvestment in Central/State PSUs

Stoppage of contractorisation in permanent perennial work and payment of same wage and benefits for contract workers as regular workers for same and similar work

Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund; increase the quantum of gratuity.

Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days from the date of submitting application; and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions C 87 and C 98

Stoppage of Pro Employer Labour Law Amendments

Stoppage of FDI in Railways, Insurance and Defence

In addition to these the central trade unions are also demanding the withdrawal of the Land Acquisition amendment bill/ordinance.

A.K. Padmanabhan

The working people of the country, from almost all the sectors, from all the states, have very well completed their preparation for the 24 hour strike on 2nd September. This strike is the 16th countrywide General strike after 1991, against the neoliberal offensive of the ruling classes and the fourth strike after all the 11 central TUs and also the National Federations came on a joint platform.
All informations from various corners of the country indicate that most enthusiastic preparations have been there to make the strike a complete success.

Central Trade Unions
All the Central Trade Unions have convened their national level meetings and chalked out programmes for independent and joint campaigns. All the Central Trade Unions have also, according to media reports, held their own organizational meetings at state level also. Those initiatives have resulted in successful holdings of the state level and sectoral conventions of all the Trade Unions and Federations.

State Conventions
Starting from West Bengal, all the states have organized joint Conventions and adopted resolutions calling upon the unions and federations in the state to join the countrywide strike. National leaders of CTUs have attended these conventions, raising enthusiasm among the delegates participating.

An important development in these conventions are the participation of state level organizations, mostly guided by the regional political parties. These organizations include the Trade Union wings or guided organizations of Shiv Sena, Telengana Rajya Samithi, Telugudesam, MDMK, DMDK and VCK in Tamilnadu, JMM in Jharkhand. In Kerala all the regional trade unions including those attached to ruling parties in the state have been participating in the countrywide strikes conducted after 2009. There are also organizations at state level, not attached to any political parties, but led by individuals or functioning as independent organizations like Working Peoples Council in Tamilnadu, which are also participating in the strike.

Public Sector Unions
The Convention of Public Sector Employees unions in Bengaluru on 25th July witnessed participation of unions form all over the country. Unions affiliated to all the major central trade unions and also the Joint Action Front of PSU unions Bengaluru and PSU Trade Union Co-ordination Committee, Hyderabad participated. 287 delegates from 28 major PSUs attended this Convention, which adopted a declaration criticizing the Government of India’s policies of Privatisation and denigration of PSUs. Adopting the 12 point charter of demands and also on issues of PSU Public Sector Workers the convention vowed to make the strike a total success.

CITU affiliated unions along with some of the fraternal unions in PSUs, had held a meeting in Hyderabad on 22nd June. 157 delegates from more than 50 units had attended this meeting, which was called by All India Co-ordination Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions.

State level workshops or conventions were also held in various centers where considerable number of PSUs are operating.

Sectoral Convention
Coal workers, under the leadership of all the major federations held a national convention in Nagpur, on 11th July, resolving to make the strike a complete success. Local and regional conventions were held in different states.

Port and Dock
The Co-ordination Committee of five national federations of Port and Dock Workers met at Paradeep on 21st June to plan out campaigns among the port and dock workers. Meeting again at Chennai on 8th and 9th August to review the preparations the committee decided to direct all the affiliated unions to issue strike notices to the management. Detailed programme of campaigning was worked out.

Petroleum Workers
National Federations of Petroleum Sector Workers held a national Convention on 18th August, in Mumbai, where Trade Unions representing all major Oil and Gas undertakings participated. Leaders of CITU, AITUC and INTUC led federations participated along with worker representatives from different centers.

Telecom Workers
BSNL employees who went on a two-day strike with a demand of Save BSNL, are fully prepared for the strike on 2nd September. All the Unions of employees have jointly served strike notice and campaigns have been well organized.

Road Transport Workers
Road Transport Workers will be participating in the strike enmasse. After the most successful countrywide strike of Road Transport Workers on 30th April, when workers from State Government undertakings, private and also of self employed sections participated, the enthusiasm among the Road Transport Workers have increased manifold.

A national convention on 4th August in Mavalankar Hall in New Delhi witnessed participation form all over the country including Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. All Central TUs and independent federations form various states participated in the Convention which decided to organize successful strike of the Road Transport Workers on 2nd September.

Electricity Workers
The National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) have been on country wide campaigns against the new electricity Bill, which will in effect be a death knell to the demands of Electricity as a human right. Affordable and quality energy to the domestic consumers will come to an end if the new Bill is passed. NCCOEEE had decided to go on a countrywide strike it the new Bill is introduced in Parliament. Though it was listed to be introduced, it could not be introduced in the Monsoon Session. Now, the unions have decided to concentrate on the 2nd September strike.

Central and State Government Employees
Central Government employees under the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, is on a countrywide campaign to make he General strike a powerful Day of protest by mobilizing all sections of employees –Postal, Income-tax, Audit and Accounts and various departments.

As far as the State Government Employees are concerned All India State Government Employees Federation leaders are on tour to mobilize employees for the strike after a formal decision to go for strike was taken on 11th July. State and local level Conventions have been organized in various states.

Defence Employees
Civilian employees of the Defence department are in full preparation for the strike. All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) and the INTUC and BMS led federations have jointly appealed to the workers to go on strike. Strike Ballot was taken by the 3 federations, independently form 4th to 6th.

Financial Sector
Major Unions in Banking and Insurance Sector are, as usual, actively preparing for the strike, which will be a total success on 2nd September. Reserve Bank and NABARD will also be on strike.

Medical Representatives
As has been the tradition, in all the previous struggles, medical representatives under the banner of FMRAI are well prepared in every state to go on strike this time also.

Scheme Workers
In the Anganwadi Sector, all the federations have jointly decided to participate in the strike. Asha workers. Mid-Day Meal workers, NCLP workers etc. are also in the campaign to make the strike a powerful protest against the Government’s attitude towards the Scheme Workers.

The reports reaching from different parts of the country show that enthusiastic campaigns are going on in all the Industrial Centres in the country. Organised Sector workers, both in Public Sector and Private Sector, along with the huge Sections of unorganized sector workers, daily wage earners and all Sections of toilers are preparing for the strike.

House to house campaigns, Panchayat level Conventions, torch light processions are being held in different parts of the country with thousands of work spot level meetings with massive participation of men and women. In many centres, General strike will turn into a total hartal.

Country is on the move
On 15th August, we saw, country wide celebrations of the Independence Day. India has entered the 69th year of Independence. The lofty goals at the time of the freedom struggle and the dreams of thousands of our Martyrs and millions who languished in the jails facing torture and hardships still remain a very distant even to-day.

Our Kisans and Agricultural Workers are on the path of suicides, not able to withstand the blood sucking policies of the ruling class. Various sections of Kisans and Agricultural workers are already on struggle. The distress the Indian villages are facing are the result of the inhuman and exploitative policies being pursued by the rulers. It is for the working class of the country to be in the forefront of struggles against these policies and give confidence to all other sections of toiling masses in their struggles. The solidarity of all sections of toilers have to be strengthened.

The unity of the Trade Unions on the basis of an agreed charter and the struggles being conducted have to be developed in to a massive struggle against the anti-people, neo-liberal policies.
The countrywide General strike on 2nd September, should mark the beginning of a new phase of struggle. This one day strike will turn into a massive action to warn the ruling class against their policies. We should force a change in the policy trajectory of the country and working people should unitedly move towards that.

9th June 2015

To
Shri Bandaru Dattatreya
Minister of Labour & Employment
Govt of India
Shram Shakti Bhawan
Rafi Marg, New Delhi 110001

 

Dear Sir,

It is shocking that the Labour Ministry has issued a notification no G.S.R. (E) dated 29th April 2015 publishing draft rules to amend the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules 1946 being proposed by the Central Government inviting suggestions/objections within 45 days. The amendment aims at introducing “fixed term employment” with the unfettered right of the employer to retrench without notice and compensation. Unfortunately, the notification skipped our attention and so we could not respond immediately. And the copy of the said notification, surprisingly enough, has not been sent to the Central Trade Unions as per usual practice.

It is really shocking because, the Ministry could silently issue the said notification without consulting the Central Trade Unions and asking their opinion on such proposal having a serious bearing on the working conditions and job security of the industrial workers, before bringing it in public domain. This is gross violation of the basic norm of tripartism and CITU hereby lodges its protest against such violation.

You may please recall that before and after 29th April 2015, there had been number of meetings between the Labour Ministry and the central trade unions on various issues including on labour law amendments, wherein all officials including Labour Secretary, Joint Secretary (Labour) and also sometimes yourself as Labour Minister were present. But at no point of time, the representatives of Central Trade Unions were ever conveyed about such retrograde proposal of the Govt for reintroducing “fixed term employment” through amending the central rules under Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act.

You may also please recall that that the same provision for fixed term employment was once introduced on 10-12-2003 through Gezette Notification. Prior to such introduction, Central Trade Unions were consulted in advance and all the central trade unions opposed to such amendment. And subsequently, following widespread countrywide protests by the trade unions, the same was rescinded in 2007 or so by issuance of another Gezette Notification by the UPA Govt.

Again the same rescinded notification on imposing conditions of bonded labour on industrial workers is being sought to brought back through present proposal for amending the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules 1946. Is this the mandate of the Ministry of Labour ? Is the clock being sought to be turned backward ?

CITU records its emphatic protest against the very modality adopted by the Ministry for bypassing trade unions while pushing through retrograde changes in employment conditions through executive order. CITU also records its opposition to the proposed amendment in Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Central Rules and urges upon you to withdraw the proposal in the interests of fairness and propriety.

With regards,
Yours sincerely,


( TAPAN SEN )
General Secretary

The Secretariat of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses its profound grief at the passing away of comrade Parsa Satyanarayana, veteran trade union leader and freedom fighter, on 22nd May 2015 at Eluru in Andhra Pradesh. Comrade Parsa Satyanarayana participated in the historic Telangana Armed Struggle. He was 91 and was not keeping well for some time due to old age related problems.

 

Comrade Parsa, as he was affectionately called, was the president of the Andhra Pradesh state committee of CITU for thirty years and also functioned as its honorary president. In his young days he worked in the Singareni coal fields when he started organising the coal workers there and became the founder leader of the Singareni Coal Workers' Union which was started during the Nizam's rule. He was the founder president of Singareni Coal Employees' Union when it was formed in 1978. For many years, Comrade Parsa was the editor of Karmikalokan, the monthly organ of CITU in Andhra Pradesh. He was the national vice president of CITU from 1994-2000.

 

Com Parsa was in charge of the state coordination committee of working women for long and took keen interest in its activities. He always used to encourage women cadres in the trade union movement and insisted on promoting them to leadership positions.  He was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from Paloncha constituency but later resigned in support of the state wide agitation demanding the Visakha Steel Plant. He was also a member of the state secretariat of the Andhra Pradesh committee of CPI (M).

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) congratulates the road transport workers and their national federations for the grand success of their country wide strike today. The road transport workers have gone on a countrywide strike for the first time in the history of Independent India, demanding withdrawal of the draconian Road Transport and Safety Bill 2015.

The call for the countrywide strike was given by the national level road transport workers’ federations affiliated to CITU, AITUC, INTUC, BMS, HMS, AICCTU, LPF and independent state unions. Around 2 crore transport workers of public transport corporations, private buses, mini buses, Lorry, trucks, auto, taxi workers, workers in driving schools, auto workshops, spare parts shops, automobile workshops, school and college buses etc participated in the strike.

In West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura there was a bandh like situation. The road transport workers in West Bengal participated in the strike en masse despite the attempts of the Trinamool government in West Bengal to run the public transport buses and the physical attacks by the Trinamool goons in some parts of the state.

The strike was a total success in the public transport undertakings in Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand etc. In Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Delhi, Bihar, Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha there was total strike in the private road transport sector. In Mumbai only 300 BEST buses and 10% auto rickshaws plied on the roads. There was a bandh like situation all over Maharashtra. Police arrested several CITU activists organising rasta roko in several towns in Andhra Pradesh. Massive demonstrations were organised in Jammu and Kashmir despite severe downpour. The organisations of truck owners in several states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh supported the strike.

CITU demands the BJP led government to withdraw the Bill, intended to hand over the core transport sector to the corporates, immediately and call the road transport workers’ federations for discussion.

Issued by:

(TAPAN SEN )
General Secretary

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The Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) expresses its fullest support to the country wide one day strike in the Road Transport Sector on 30th April. Workers in all Sectors including Buses, Trucks, Auto-Taxis are to go on strike on that day.

Trade Unions and Federations affiliated to various Central Trade Unions along with many independent federations and unions in Road Transport sector have been conducting a campaign for the last few months against the new Road Transport and Safety Bill 2014.
The Bill contains clauses, which will result in the death knell of the existing 54 State Road Transport undertakings and the bill is aimed at handing over the Transport sector to private operators.
Various clauses proposed in the bill are against the interests of all sections – Drivers, passengers and general public. The Bill encroaches upon the rights of the State Governments and some State Governments have openly criticized the bill and asked for changes. Many Governmental functions like Registration, licensing etc. are being handed over to private sector.
The joint platform of unions have submitted detailed memorandums to Government, conducted extensive campaigns in the State including a massive Parliament March of Transport Workers on 18th December 2014.
It is in this situation, the union have jointly decided to go for a one day protest strike on 30th April 2015.
CITU fully endorses the demands of the Joint platform of Transport Sector Unions and extends full support to the strike.
CITU calls upon all sections of workers and general public to extend their support to the strike.


Issued by
(A.K. Padmanabhan)
President

9th April 2015


The Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns the barbaric killings of 20 labourers in the Seshachalam forest in Andhra Pradesh by the AP Police on 7th April 2015 in the name of encounter with sandal-wood smugglers. CITU calls upon the workers and the trade unions to raise their voice of protest against such police-brutality.


As the information and reports pouring in media, the so called encounter is a completely fake one. Labourers hired for cutting wood were killed in cold blood by the state Police to camouflage and cover-up their failure to contain the increasing menace of smuggling of red sanders. This is simply inhuman as well as heinous on the part of state administration that their abject failure to contain the smuggling or capture the smugglers is being sought to be camouflaged by brutal killings of the poor labourers hired for cutting woods in the forest.


CITU demands a judicial enquiry in to the incident of such heinous killings and demands upon the State Government to pay adequate compensation to the families of the victims of police brutality.


Issued by

Tapan Sen 
General Secretary

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