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Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) demands the immediate release of the JNU Student’s Union President Kanhaiya Kumar who was arrested under the charge of sedition without any evidence. It demands that this baseless charge against him and other students be withdrawn at once.

CITU strongly condemns the attacks on him by the RSS/ BJP goons at the Patiala House courts. Several other students, faculty members, journalists and advocates were also injured in the assault repeated for the second time within the court premises.

CITU deplores Delhi Police for its absolute negligence in effectively carrying out the Supreme Court direction to provide adequate security to Kanhaiya Kumar. The same incident of attack by some lawyers along with hooligans was again repeated on the second day when Kanahaya Kumar was brought to the Court premise. The Delhi Police, which functions directly under the Union Home Ministry, has not taken any action against the BJP MLA who has been caught on camera leading the physical attack on the students and media persons within the Patiala Court premise. These hooligans also tried to manhandle the team of senior lawyers sent by the Supreme Court to investigate the matter. This is in total contrast to the attempts to clamp down on the progressive and democratic student movement and malign a nationally and internationally renowned institution like the JNU, based on an isolated incident, which does not reflect the opinion of the vast majority of the students or the faculty. This clearly proves the premeditated move by RSS outfits in that game plan to attack progressive and democratic movement with the active support of the administration under BJP regime.

These are nothing but part of the nefarious design of the RSS to suppress progressive and rationalist thinking and forcibly impose its regressive ideology. These attacks are meant to silence dissent or any views opposed to its own in premier educational institutions, by the Modi led BJP government. Attack by various RSS outfits on the offices of Left parties and student organisations at different parts of the country during the span of last few days also expose their nefarious design.

This attitude to suppress opposition and attack those who hold different views has serious implications for the democratic and working class movements. In fact the entire game plan is to divert the attention of the people from the all round failure of the anti-people NDA regime having disastrous impact on the lives and livelihood the common people at large.

CITU warns these retrograde and reactionary forces that people’s voices cannot be silenced through such heinous attacks. It calls upon the working class and the trade union movement to unitedly thwart the attacks of the Hinutva forces on the democratic rights of the people and join the struggle to protect the JNU from the onslaught of the Hindutva forces.

Issued by
( TAPAN SEN )
General Secretary

As per a report in one of the leading National English Dailies, ‘The Hindu’ dated 5th February 2016, the government of India is planning to go in for strategic sale of some of India's most efficient and highly profitable PSUs. It is also planning aggressive disinvestment of shares in other PSUs. This obviously is meant to hand over our country’s basic economic strength at cheap rates when the stock market is depressed thus benefiting the global players. Even if partially true, these measures will be disastrous for national interests and the interests of the people.

The globally competitive engineering giant BHEL, the profitable oil PSUs like ONGC, HPCL, BPCL, IOC, the Defence sector PSUs like BEML, HAL etc have been initially short listed for the strategic sale as per the report. This is tantamount to putting the country on sale, reflecting the desperate economic condition in the country, despite the high sounding claims of the government. The patriotic people of our country cannot tolerate this disastrous game of the BJP government at the centre.

CITU strongly condemns the very idea of such sale out of the country's blue chip PSUs contributing handsomely to national exchequer besides making capital investments in the national economy out of their own resources.

India cannot be allowed to put on sale. CITU urges upon the government to desist from such disastrous exercise. CITU calls upon the working people and the trade unions irrespective of affiliations to launch immediate protest against such move at each work place and also through sending fax/ emails to Union Finance Minister and the Prime Minister demanding ‘Stop disinvestment in PSUs; No to strategic sale’.

Issued by,
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

 

Dated 28.1.2016


New Delhi: All the Central Trade Unions met on 27th January 2016 and resolved to continue their protest action against the anti labour policies of the Central and some State Govts. Central Trade Unions decided to observe 10th March, 2016 as All India Protest Day against Govt. indifference to the 12 point charter of demands and its unwillingness to restart discussions for working out concrete steps for resolution of the issues.

The Central Trade Unions reviewed the drastically deteriorating conditions of work and life of the working people and govt. going ahead with labour law amendments, disinvestment of PSUs and allowing FDI in strategic sectors. The Govt., it appears, does not want to wait for legislating these anti worker labour law amendments, it is taking away rights of workers by way of executive orders and directing state govts to carry out such pro-management amendments. The trade unions condemned one such directive issued by the Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Govt. of India on this 12th January granting exemption to so called start up enterprises from inspection and application of 9 major labor law legislations, thereby legitimizing the violations.

The Central Trade Unions took note of and extend solidarity to the sectoral struggles of workers/employees in Banks, Defence, Coal, Port and Docks and Telecommunications sectors, the anganwadi workers on their respective demands and also the Central Govt. employees including Railways resolve to launch action against retrograde recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission. They also expressed their serious concern over extremely harsh punishment of “double life imprisonment” given by the Court to eight workers of Pricol Ltd., Coimbatore and appealed to all workers to extend help and solidarity.

The Central Trade Unions also decided to organize massive National Convention of Workers in Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi in the last week of March, 2016 to decide about the next course of united action programme.

Fight against anti labour policies will continue. The Central Trade Unions directed its constituents to prepare jointly for protest action on 10th March, 2016. They also appealed to independent employees/workers/unions and federations to participate in the protest action against the offensive of the Govt. against workers and common people.

27TH January 2016

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the brazenly anti-workers design of the Govt of India to grant virtual exemption from the obligations under nine basic labour laws to start up companies including five year old registered establishments with a annual turnover of not more than Rs 25 crore on the plea of “handholding and nurturing” the so called start-up companies, announced by the Prime Minister only recently.

In a letter no Z-13025/39/2015-LR-Cell dated 12th January 2016, the Labour Secretary, Govt of India directed all the heads of organizations like EPF, ESI etc to take immediate action accordingly in respect of their area of enforcement.

The start-up entities are defined as those incorporated or registered not prior to five years with annual turnover, not exceeding Rs 25 crore. These entities, as per the notification made by the Labour Secretary, GoI, would be allowed to self-certify compliance with the 9 basic labour laws viz., Industrial Disputes Act 1947, Trade Unions Act 1926, Building &Other Construction Workers Act 1996, Industrial Employment (Standing Order) Act 1946, Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act 1979, Payment of Gratuity Act 1972, Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act 1970, the EPF Act 1952 and ESI Act 1948. This means there will be no inspection by the enforcement machinery in all these establishments at least for three years allowing the concerned employers to violate freely these basic labour laws.

Already many big corporate houses, both domestic and foreign have been showing interests in channelizing their business through these so called start-up companies to take advantage of the three years tax holidays and exemption from inspection by tax-officials for the start-ups by Govt of India. To add to these huge concessions, they have been allowed exemptions from obligations under all basic labour laws including the social security and welfare related ones, imposing conditions of virtual bonded labour on the workers employed or going to be employed in these start-up entities.

Different Central Govt agencies like EPFO and others already jumped in haste to instruct their regional offices not to inspect these so called start up entities including five-year old registered companies in respect of compliance of EPF Act etc.

It has become clear that for the Govt of India, incentivizing, hand-holding or promoting investments means suppression of workers’ rights, not to allow formation of trade unions, denying welfare benefit to construction workers, reckless contractorisation and denial of basic social security benefit like EPF, ESI etc.

Such brazen anti-workers design sought to pushed through in a dubious and deceptive manner warrants all out condemnation and opposition by the trade union movement irrespective of affiliations. CITU calls upon the working people and the trade union movement to expose such anti-worker deceptive design of the NDA Govt unitedly.

(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the reckless move of the Narendra Modi Govt in liberalising foreign direct investment in numerous sectors of the economy including core and strategic sectors of economy much to the detriment of national interests. Strategic sector like defence(49%), airlines(49%), banking(74% for both FDI and FII) and media & broadcasting(100%) are being opened up to FDI through automatic approval route. FDI in single brand retail, construction, plantations etc will also be allowed through automatic approval route. FDI cap has been liberally increased from 74% to 100% for several sectors including non-scheduled air-transport service, ground handling, credit-info firms and satellites. Along with allowing 74% FDI in banking sector, the limits on the portfolio investors in the sector has also been eased up. Also notable is the hike in FDI to 49% in news channel and radio and 100% in DTH, cable networks, mobIle TV and teleports which will lead to near total control of media sector by foreign monopolies. FDI with automatic approval will now be allowed to 32 new investment areas covering crucial and strategically important sectors of the national economy. Cap for approval of foreign investment has been liberally raised from existing Rs 3000 crore to Rs 5000 crore.

All such drastic decisions on opening crucial sectors of our economy has been made by the Modi Govt even by evading the formal decision/approval by Cabinet, not to speak of Parliament which is scheduled to meet within next two weeks time on and from 26th November 2015. Following the humiliating defeat in Bihar election, the discredited Narendra Modi Govt has become desperate in banking upon and appeasing their foreign patrons jeopardizing national interests, that too just before the Prime Minister’s visit to London, Malaysia, G-20 and Singapur.

And none of the above concessions to foreign capital is going to benefit the national economy except creating more job-losses through unleashing a process of further de-industrialisation and destruction of domestic capacities. Such retrograde move will kill much more jobs than assumed to generate.

The trade union movement has already recorded their vehement protest against such brazenly anti-people policies and the policy of such mindless drive for FDI through massive countrywide general strike on 2nd September 2015. It appears, the Govt at the centre is still refusing to draw the right lesson and see reasons.

The CITU urges upon the Govt of India to desist from such retrograde design of harming the country, the economy and the people.

CITU calls upon the working people of the country to unitedly condemn such desperate bid of the Govt to make this country and her people a hunting ground and object for loot and exploitation and raise their voice of protest and opposition. CITU also calls upon the trade union movement to prepare for intense countrywide united struggle against the destructive anti-people policies of the Govt.

Issued by
( TAPAN SEN)

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.

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