May Day Manifesto 2014

Centre of Indian Trade Unions
May Day Manifesto 2014

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

Fraternal Greetings

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

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

Struggles Against Imperialism

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

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

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

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

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

Greetings to Socialist Countries

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

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

Global Crisis

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

In India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attacks on Democracy

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

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

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

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

Elections in India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Appeal of May Day 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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