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The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly condemns the repression unleashed by the BJP government in Rajasthan on the farmers demanding implementation of the promises made by it. The Vasundhara Raje government arrested hundreds of farmers and their leaders including Amra Ram, national vice president, and other veteran leaders of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) including Hetram Beniwal, Shyopat Meghwal and many others on 21st February and sent them to jail.

CITU demands that all the arrested farmers and their leaders be released immediately and their genuine demands fulfilled immediately including the assurances given by the state government earlier. 

After the historic struggle of the farmers in the state under the leadership of AIKS last year, the BJP government in Rajasthan was compelled to agree to their demands including loan waiver, remunerative prices and public procurement, pension etc. However the government failed to implement these till today. Farmers from all over the state led by AIKS were marching to the state capital Jaipur to sit in an indefinite ‘mahapadav’ from 22nd February when the government resorted to the arrest in order to pre-empt the struggle.

CITU congratulates the thousands of farmers who reached Jaipur with exemplary determination to participate in the ‘mahapadav’ and extends its full solidarity to their struggle. CITU warns the Rajasthan state government that it cannot suppress the struggles of the toiling people through such repressive measures.

CITU calls upon the working class in the state as well as in the entire country to extend their support and solidarity to the struggle of the farmers in Rajasthan.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 15:55

“MAKE IN INDIA” OR “DESTROY INDIA” !

CITU denounces Govt decision to close down 9 Railway Printing Presses and also 12 Central Govt Presses

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces Central Govt’s decision to close down 9 printing presses under Indian Railways and 12 printing presses under Central Govt.

In a formal communication by the Executive Director Railway Stores (G) of the Ministry of Railways dated 07-02-2018, it has been notified that 3 ticket printing presses and 6 general printing presses under Indian Railways will be closed down within next six months. These presses are located at Kolkata, Kurseong, Kharagpur, Garden Reach, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Ajmer, Mahalaxmi/WR and Tiruchirapally. These presses are supplying different divisions of Railways with railway tickets and other stationeries of daily use for railway services. That means the requirement of these essential printed items for railways will continue to be there but the railway presses producing these items will be closed down to facilitate the business of chosen private players.

The same closure spree of the Govt at the centre is going on in respect of the functional printing presses directly under the central government. The concerned Minister of Urban Development has already announced closure of 12 central govt printing presses and the closure process is being actively pursued thereby destroying the productive activities in all these presses.

It is clear, under the loudly touted slogan of “Make in India” by the Govt, what is being actively pursued is gradual destruction of indigenous manufacturing capabilities in different areas of the economy and quality and decent employment in several thousands are going to be eliminated just to ensure business and profit for big businesses at the cost of national exchequer.

CITU condemns such destructive and employment killing policy of the Govt of India and calls upon the trade union movement and that in Railways and Central Govt sector in particular to oppose and resist such nefarious and destructive designs.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions vehemently condemns the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Narendra Modi Govt to open the coal mining sector for commercial mining by private and foreign corporate that too without any restriction on pricing and end-use. So long private sector was allowed to mine coal only for captive use in power, cement and steel industry and debarred from selling the coal in market.

As such above retrograde decision by the Modi Govt is nothing but a total reversal of the four decade long policy of nationalized coal mining which contributed immensely to industrial development as well as expansion of the power generation capacity of the country’s economy. Such opening up of coal mining sector for unhindered exploitation by private and foreign corporate without any restriction on pricing and end-use will definitely pave the way for weakening and privatization of public sector coal industry, both Coal India and Singareni Collieries Ltd, thereby affecting the coal production for both public and industrial consumption as a whole; proliferation of private coal mining will also severely compromise the rights and safety of the workers deployed in private mining; further withdrawal of all restriction in pricing of coal and their end-use will increase the burden on the people many times. Such unrestricted private mining of coal will also severely impair energy security of the country in a big way. This a follow up move of the Modi Govt in amending the Coal Mine Nationalisation Act 1973 in 2016 through Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill 5 which was vehemently opposed by the coal trade unions through industrywide strike action and also by Left MPs in Parliament.

CITU denounce such disastrous move by the Modi Govt which militates against the interest of the national economy and mass of the people. CITU calls upon the trade union movement and the coal unions in particular to build up strong opposition to such gross anti-workers, anti-people and anti-national move throughout the country. CITU welcomes the immediate response of the All India Coal Workers’ Federation(CITU) through organizing protest demonstrations within nex few days in the coal mines throughout the country in both Coal India and Singareni Collieries Ltd.

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

Monday, 12 February 2018 16:51

Comrade Md. Amin Amar Rahe

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions is profoundly grieved on the passing away of its veteran leader as well as the leader of the working class movement of the country Comrade Md. Amin today on 12 February 2018 in Kolkata at the age of 89. Comrade Md. Amin was the founder member of CITU, became its General Secretary in May 2007 and continued in that position till March 2010.  

Born in a working class family Comrade Md Amin became a jute mill worker in West Bengal at the age of 14 and was initiated in trade union struggles at shop floor. He held various responsibilities in West Bengal as well as at national level.

He was elected, as the secretary of CITU in 1987 and later became its vice president apart from discharging his responsibility as its General Secretary during 2007-2010. He was associated with several industry-wise federations in jute, road transport etc. During these long years he had been playing a crucial role in leading the working class movement in the country.

Comrade Md. Amin was a member of Rajya Sabha during 1988-94 and 2007-13. He was the transport minister in the first Left Front government and was the labour minister in the sixth Left Front government of West Bengal.

Comrade Md. Amin joined the communist party in 1946 and was jailed for long periods. He rose at the highest level as a member of the Polit Bureau of CPI(M) and, as a veteran communist, continued to remain in its Central Committee as a special invitee till his demise.  

Comrade Md. Amin was a poet in Urdu and was the author of several books. His life was an example of commitment, simplicity and courage.

CITU sends its heartfelt condolence to his comrades and members of his family. CITU dips its flag and pays its respectful homage to the departed leader.

The Union Budget 2018-19, presented by the Finance Minister of the Narendra Modi Govt today on a preliminary scrutiny, turns out to be deceptive one, meticulously articulated to misguide and confuse the people. The Budget is anti-workers, anti-people and also militates against the national interest. CITU condemns such an anti-people exercise.

The Budget remained liberal about extending concession to business houses. On the plea of supporting Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) the Budget extended the reduced corporate tax rate of 25% to companies having Rs 250 crore annual turnover. Is the turnover the right measure of identifying an MSME or the ‘capital deployed’ should categorise the MSME more honestly ? Will it really benefit the genuine MSMEs or allow the big players to corner the benefit ? However through such deceptive manner the burden on corporate houses has been reduced further by Rs 7000 crore while giving no relief to suffering millions reeling under post GST indirect tax burden. This along with other pro-corporate policy drives continued to remain the pattern of budget exercise of the Modi Govt in successive years of its governance pushing the entire country in the midst of extreme and obscene income inequality of one percent people cornering 73% of the national wealth. And yet the Govt will continue to call itself pro-poor.

Budget speech made no mistake in mentioning its resolve to extend the atrocious “fixed term employment” system to all the sectors consistent with its brazenly anti-worker pro-corporate drive for labour-law changes designed to impose slavery on the workers. While speaking lavishly about improving health, education and social welfare services toward universalisation, it remained totally negative in considering the long standing demands of about a crore workers working in its flagship scheme of NHM, Mid-day-Meal(MDM) and ICDS (Anganwadi) and other related central govt schemes of extending them at least the right to statutory minimum wages and attendant social security benefits. In fact the allocation under National Health Mission (NHM) has been reduced and on ICDS and MDM there are marginal increase that too for other expenditures. Such an attitude is utterly condemnable.

The Central Trade Unions congratulate the scheme workers working in various Government Schemes for their successful all India Strike and mobilisation today, 17 January 2018. Nearly twenty lakh scheme workers came out on streets in demonstrations, rallies and dharnas at district headquarters across the county and submitted memorandum addressing the Finance Minister through the district authorities.

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As per the decision of the Mahapadav of workers held on 9-11 November 2017, the Central Trade Unions had given the call for a one day strike of all ‘scheme workers’ to press for the following demands:

1. Implement the recommendations of the 45th ILC on scheme workers: recognition as workers, minimum wages not less than Rs.18,000 per month and social security including monthly pension not less than Rs.3000 to all scheme workers. Give coverage of EPF and ESI to scheme workers.

2. Adequate financial allocation in the Union Budget 2018-19 for the Centrally sponsored schemes including ICDS, MDMS, NHM, SSA, NCLP etc to ensure increase in wages for the workers to the level of minimum wages and universalisation of the schemes with adequate infrastructure and quality services.

3. No privatisation of the schemes in any form and no subversion by way of cash transfer or exclusion of beneficiaries

Nearly 60 lakh Scheme workers including anganwadi workers and helpers, mini anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, Mid Day Meal workers, NCLP teachers, small savings agents, workers under SSA, NRLM, MNREGA field assistants, par teachers, etc went on strike today. These grass root workers, majority of whom are women who deliver the services of nutrition, health, education and care are not recognised as workers by the government, who is their employer and paid a pittance in the name of ‘honorarium’ which is far less tahan the minimum wage. The strike was a total success in spite of the threat by the various governments. In many states the workers were threatened with retrenchment and wage cut of one week to a month wages for a one day strike. In Telengana one DRDO issued notice to the NREGA field assistants that their strike is against the sovereignty and integrity of the Nation! Apart from this the BMS, which has totally surrendered to the Modi government, has also tried to misguide the workers.

By Central Trade Unions on 17 JANUARY 2018

Workers will March From Mandi House to Parliament Street at 11am

As per the decision of the Mahapadav of workers held on 9-11 November 2017, the Central Trade Unions have decided to go on a one day strike of all ‘scheme workers’ working under various Government Schemes on 17 January 2018. More than one crore scheme workers are working under various central and state government schemes including around 27 lakh Anganwadi, Mini Anganwadi Workers and Helpers under the ICDS Scheme, nearly 28 lakh Mid Day Meal Workers under the MDM Scheme and around ten lakh ASHA Workers under the NHM, lakhs are working under SSA, NRLM, NCLP, Small Savings Schemes etc will go on strike tomorrow and will hold rallies, demonstrations, dharnas etc at district level and submit memorandum through district authorities to the Finance Minister, Government of India.

These schemes deliver basic services of health, nutrition education etc to the mass of the population. These workers are not recognised as workers and are not paid minimum wages nor do they have any social security benefits. In the name of ‘honorarium’ or ‘incentive’ they are paid a pittance as low as Rs.1000 per month for ten months a year in the case of mid day meal workers. The 45th Indian Labour Conference recommended that these workers must be recognised as workers, must be paid minimum wages and given social security benefits including pension. Various trade union federations of scheme workers have been conducting struggles raising these demands independently and jointly. But neither the UPA nor the NDA government was ready to implement these ILC recommendations.

Moreover, the Modi led NDA government is moving towards winding up these crucial schemes such as ICDS, NHM and MDMS by drastic budget cuts and structural changes, including privatisation of the schemes involving corporate and corporate NGOs. The beneficiaries are actually being excluded in the name of linking of Aadhar and bank accounts.  The government is introducing conditional cash transfers in place of universal services of crucial schemes including the ones which ensure food security. The remuneration of the workers and the facilities of the schemes are being affected due to the budget cuts. In spite of repeated demand by the central trade unions, the Government is going ahead with moves to dismantle the schemes.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) denounces the Government’s announcement of allowing 49 per cent FDI in the country’s national carrier – Air India. Modi Govt had already decided to push Air India for wholesale privatization. And to expedite such privatization move, the Govt has now made this announcement of permitting 49 per cent FDI. Actually, this is nothing but complete foreignisation of the national carrier – a public sector company with its huge asset base and a high-revenue earning international service network.

The Govt of the day is making the plea of huge loss the Air India is being burdened with to justify privatisation. But the Govt seeks to hide the fact that Air India has been pushed to this situation not because of its management’s failure but owing to imposition of disastrous decision on the company by successive governments at the Centre like hasty merger of Indian Airlines and Air India; forcible procurement of huge fleet of aircrafts from foreign companies through direct purchase at an in-opportune time thereby imposing on the company an unbearable burden of indebtedness leading to loss. Despite such reckless and imprudent misadventure and subsequent hurdles imposed by the successive Govts, including the current one through the concerned Ministry, Air India struggled to come back to operating profit for last three years. Despite that, the present Govt decided to privatise the national carrier, and to hasten up the process, the door is now widely opened for the foreign companies to take over. Such destructive decision is being pursued by the Govt despite the concerned Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, comprising of representatives of all the political parties including BJP, unanimously recommending not to privatise Air India, at least for three years more while helping it for speed up its improvement which has already set in. When privatization, rather foreignisation of national assets becomes the main goal of the Govt, then such destructive decision of foreignisation of national carrier is being taken by the Govt completely unconcerned of the national interests. CITU vehemently condemns such destructive move.

Equally destructive is the decision of the Govt of allowing 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail trade, which in the background of fast corporatization of the retail trade sector has already been putting existing decentralized retail trade sector in severe difficulties and crisis. Allowing 100 per cent FDI in single brand retail trade will further increase the hardship of traditional retail trade sector which is the second biggest livelihood giver after agriculture and expedite the ruin of the traditional retail trade sector.

CITU condemns these destructive and reckless decisions on FDI, which are destined to damage the national economy and reduce employment, and calls upon the working class to build up determined resistance against such deliberate exercise towards degeneration of the national economy and peoples’ livelihood both through sectoral and nationwide united struggle.

Issued by,
TAPAN SEN
General Secretary

Tuesday, 26 December 2017 10:27

Com. N.M. SUNDARAM Passed away

The Secretariat of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in session in New Delhi expresses its shock over the sudden demise of Com. N.M. Sundaram, one of the senior leaders of Indian Trade Union movement and especially that of the Insurance Workers Movement today on 26.12.2017 at Chennai. He was 80.

Com. Sundaram, had led the All India Insurance Employees Association, in various capacities including that of the General Secretary for Sixteen years and President for six years. He had played a major role in the struggle of the Indian Working people against privatization and other disastrous impacts of neo liberal economic policies. He was a prolific writer and orator and had written articles and books on various aspects of neoliberal economic policies.

CITU pays its homage to the memory of Com. Sundaram and also conveys condolences to his family members and to the Comrades of AIIEA.

(TAPAN SEN)
General Secretary

DEMANDS STRINGENT ACTION ON THE EMPLOYER BY STATE/CENTRAL GOVT
AND APPRORIATE COMPENSATION TO THE VICTIMS

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses shock and vehemently condemns the indiscriminate firing on the tea garden workers by the Tea Garden Owner on 13th December 2017 which is reported by the media.

It is learnt that the workers of Bogidhala Tea Estate in Golaghat district of Assam have not been getting their earned wages since long despite continuously working in the Garden. On that fateful day a section of workers went to the Bunglow-Office of the Tea Garden Owners to press for payment of their earned wage pending since long putting the workers in virtual starvation and distress. The arrogant tea garden owner suddenly opened fire on the assembled workers, squatting peacefully before the Bunglow without any provocation injuring at least twenty workers. The injured workers have been rushed to Jorhat Medical College Hospital and at least five of the injured workers are in extremely critical condition.

It is most deplorable that the workers have to face bullets from the garden-owner for demanding their unpaid earned wages for the work already done; non-payment of earned wages to workers on time is a serious offence on the part of the employers. The workers and their unions have been complaining against such non-payment and irregular payment since long. But the Govt, both in the state of Assam and in the centre have not taken any action against the defaulting employer, may be owing to their over-occupation in ensuring “ease of doing business”. This enthusiasm of the BJP government over “ease of doing business” has emboldened the employer to such an alarming  degree, that while deliberately defaulting in regular payment of wages to workers, they launched murderous assault on the workers demanding their legitimate earned wage. This is nothing but a criminal offence on the part of the concerned tea-garden owners. Such attacks have now, particularly under the new state government, become a regular phenomenon on the tea garden workers in Assam, who contribute almost half of the tea production in the country.

CITU strongly denounces such anti-worker attitude of both the tea garden owners and the Govts conniving with the employers in repressing and looting the workers. CITU demands immediate arrest of the tea garden owners and initiation of stringent action for their criminal and murderous offence. CITU also demands immediate release of payment of all pending wages to the workers and adequate compensation to all the injured workers, many of them are lying in critical condition.

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

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