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Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Congratulates the Striking Electricity Workers and Engineers of Maharashtra for their incredible victory. It was a face to face combat between workers and corportate. Resisting and Defying the pro-corporate Government’s atrocious and destructive moves including the vindictive invocation of draconian MESM Act 2017, the Strikers have emerged victorious. Under immense pressure from all corners, the Deputy CM & Energy Minister of Maharashtra, Sri Devendra Fadnavis has publicly promised to roll-back the proposed granting of parallel license to Adani Group.

More than 86,000 workers and employees of Maharashtra State Public Electricity Companies were in historic 72 hours Strike from 4th January 2023 mid-night. The Maharashtra electricity sector practically was paralyzed by the shock of Strike. And the Govt. had to bow down.

This magnificent victory of the Striking Maharashtra electricity workers has proved that determined valiant struggle of the electricity like Strategic sector workers could put a bridle to these anti-people actions of the current authoritarian Modi-BJP regime.

Strikingly in yesterday’s press meet, the Deputy CM, Maharashtra has proposed for a separate electricity distribution company for agricultural consumers. CITU apprehend that it will heavily affect the cross-subsidy mechanism and will pave a path for the Govt. to do away with agricultural electricity subsidy. It is a clandestine back-door project to squeeze the peasantry. CITU strongly opposes this.

Despite this massive victory, CITU urges upon the struggling workers to keep a strong vigil over the latest development on Govt’s next move.  CITU calls upon the people of the Nation and all its affiliates in particular to uphold and internalize the glorious experience of Maharashtra movement and build massive struggle against the draconian Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2022 - Roll back the Bill with immediate effect.

Issued By
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Petroleum & Gas Workers’ Federation of India (PGWFI), the largest and broadest Federation of Petroleum Sector workers of the Nation, CONGRATUALTES the Striking Electricity Workers and Engineers of Maharashtra State. More than 86,000 workers and employees including 42,000 contractual strength of Maharashtra State Public Electricity Companies are in historic 72 hours Strike from 4th January 2023 mid-night. This Strike action is against the heinous plot of introducing Adani Group in distribution service of Navi Mumbai’s Bhandup Circle.

This strong Strike action is the culmination of 2 months long-ongoing united protest-struggle of Maharashtra electricity employees. Maharashtra government didn’t pay any heed to the objection of the agitating workers and the people. Certainly, there was no option left except going for Strike to save Maharashtra Public Electricity from the crawls of Adani! The Maharashtra State Administration is the sole responsible for any disturbance to Public service causing from this Strike action – the onus of people’s suffering is undoubtedly upon them.

Instead of addressing the righteous concern of the workers and the people, the Maharashtra government has invoked MESM Act 2017 to attack the Strikers and break the Strike. PGWFI and its entire constituents throughout the Nation stand strong beside the Striking workers of Maharashtra and condemn this vindictive act of Maharashtra government.

PGWFI believes the cause of Strike with conviction as Petroleum & Gas sector is under similar grievous attack of privatisation from the current Central government, through NMP and many other disastrous routes. PGWFI looks forward united movement of integral Energy Sector - Petroleum-Electricity-Coal workers to Resist this blatant act of privatization and hand over of public assets to private conies. PGWFI demands immediate resolution of the issue in favour of the Striking workers.

Issued By

Nogen Chutia                                                                                                 Pradeep Mayekar

General Secretary                                                                                                President

Monday, 02 January 2023 14:36

Homage to Comrade Janaki Ballabh

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) pays respectful homage to Comrade Janaki Ballabh, a long term associate of CITU centre who played vital role in adding dimension to the International Department of CITU. Comrade Vallabh was an eminent Sinologist and efficient in Chinese translation literature who passed away on 30 December 2022. He died due to age related ailments in China where he has been staying with his sons since a decade. He was 94. Remarkably he was elected to the Working Committee of CITU.

Born in 1928 in the village of Dalakot in Almora district in Uttarakhand, comrade Ballabh moved to China in 1956, after achieving his masters degree. He joined the Foreign Languages Press in Beijing, translating a range of Chinese works into Hindi.  Some of his prominent works include   'Selected Works' of Mao Zedong, Chinese classic novel 'Journey to the West', works of prominent Chinese writer Lu Xun. In recent times, he translated the first volume of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book 'The Governance of China' and completed the translation of its second volume at the age of 90. His wife, Shyama was Radio Beijing’s first Hindi announcer.

In 1961, he was given the Peace and Friendship Award by the then-Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.

Comrade Ballabh worked with the Chinese Embassy in India. After he was relieved from his job in the Chinese Embassy, he came in touch with Comrade M K Pandhe and CITU. In recognition of his experience in international affairs, he was assigned the responsibility of International affairs in CITU.  He joined CITU centre in 1998 and helped developing a well functional international department in CITU centre under the guidance of Comrade Pandhe. With his vast knowledge in international affairs, he had helped CITU in establishing relationships with Trade union movement in various countries. His contribution to CITU will always be remembered.

He had to shift to China with his son, following an illness. However, he continued to help CITU in many ways, especially with the international delegations. He was very particular in meeting the members of CITU who would visit Beijing in various delegations.

He is survived by his sons Atul who is working as Executive Director, FICCI in Beijing and Akhil a Singapore based Shipping Executive. CITU expresses it's grief at his demise and conveys heartfelt condolences to his sons, family and friends.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Friday, 04 November 2022 09:39

Elaben Bhatt, SEWA founder passes away

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expressed its profound grief and condolence at the demise the founder of Self Employed Women Association (SEWA), one of the largest cooperatives working for women with a base of two million members from around 18 States in the country.

A noted Gandhian Elaben Bhatt was the Chairperson of Sabarmati Ashram and also the chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi founded Gujarat Vidyapith.

She was a member of Rajya Sabha and the Planning commission in the 1980s. She also served as an advisor to World Bank.

CITU sends its heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family members and the leaders and members of SEWA.

Issued By
Swadesh DevRoye
Secretary

 

CITU deeply mourns and expresses its Condolences to the bereaved families of 141 people, who died in the bridge collapse at Morbi, Gujarat. The death toll in the bridge collapse tragedy is climbing up; among the victims 47 were children and more than 50 were women. 

The tragic incident once again exposed the disastrous consequence of handing over the public infrastructure management, both at state and the centre, to private corporate contractor that too on liberal deregulated formats from the state-run public works departments with devastating implications of mass human loss. A company, Oreva group specialized in making CFL bulbs, wall clocks and e-bikes, that had no apparent expertise or track record in the concerned field was awarded contract to repair and operate the ill fated hanging bridge for 15 years and charge tickets in the range of Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 for its use. There are questions about the fitness of the bridge; the private company didn’t get the fitness certificate from Morbi municipal administration supposed to be issued by the corporation after examining the use-worthiness. All these point to a major failure of the governance at various levels. Had the Gujarat state Government done proper repair and maintenance engaging state public works department, the tragic human loss could have been avoided. It is also to be noted that chief minister of Gujarat is also the urban development minister of the state and this is under his jurisdiction. The chief minister himself should be hold accountable for the calamitous human loss.

While mourning and condoling the mass loss of lives, CITU also demands a thorough high level judicial probe into the whole matter to investigate that dreadful incident and fixing accountability. Only arresting a few contract company’s officials and security guards would merely cover up the inhuman negligence and callousness of the government of the day. CITU once again reiterates its demand to stop privatisation in the name of contract for repair and maintenance and operation of public infrastructure. CITU also demands public investments and state intervention in strengthening the public works departments.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU) empathetically condemns the TMC Govt. of West Bengal for unleashing brutal midnight police crackdown 19th October on Teachers eligibility test(TET) qualified protesters on Hunger Strike For Justice  

West Bengal TMC Govt has become a bedrock of monumental job scams since its inception, every teachers recruitment examinations are marred with allegations of selling teachers jobs in lieu of kickbacks, hundreds of crores have been looted by luring aspiring job seekers, denying eligible qualified educated candidates, who are direct victims of such humungous corruption by the state govt and involved officials. The former education minister, bureaucrats, administrators of education department have been arrested in  job selling scams, crores of money in the form of hard cash have been seized from tainted ministers and their close aides.

Primary TET qualified aspiring teachers have been staging peaceful demonstration in Salt Lake’s Karunamoyee since long; since last week, they started indefinite hunger strike from 18th October, 2022.  TMC Govt. of West Bengal didn’t pay heed to their legitimate demands of recruitments. Education department was reluctant to even starting a meaningful dialog with them to resolve their just demands. The brutal vindictive face of TMC Govt. in the state came out with fangs and claws as the Govt pounced upon the qualified aspirants demanding justice through series of vindictive coercive actions.  On Thursday midnight  a large police contingent was stationed at protest site, during the midnight police resorted to brutal crackdown on protesters injuring many; police started bodily lifting the candidates, protesters were beaten up and detained and locked up in different police stations in the state.  Even the women candidates and their kids were manhandled by male policemen. On Friday morning left students and youth organisations assembled there to hold a peaceful rally condemning the brutal police actions, they were also forcibly thrust and arrested.

CITU strongly condemns such brutalities and undemocratic crackdowns by the West Bengal Govt. against the TET qualified candidates for exercising their constitutional right to protest, that too demanding their legitimate appointment.  CITU also extends whole hearted support and solidarity to the TET qualified person’ struggles braving the barbaric atrocities and calls upon the working class of Bengal to stand in solidarity with qualified candidates’ movement for their legitimate and just demands of recruitments.

Issued by
Tapan Sen 
General Secretary 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions ( CITU) extends full support to the ongoing indefinite mass demonstrations of APWD Workers from 19th October, 2022 under the banner of The Andaman Sarvajanik Nirman Vibagh Mazdoor Sangh

(ASNVMS) , affiliated to CITU, demanding implementation of High Court order on granting Pay, DA, bonus and regularization of services of DRMs.

Despite the high court orders, the Andaman and Nicobar administration is not implementing the office memorandum of 1988 issued by Govt. of India granting 1/30th of pay and DA to the daily rated workers, even after the favorable orders from High Court, the daily rated APWD workers are not being paid the bonus. The contempt petition against the officers of the administration including Chief Engineer is pending in the High Court for their failure to implement the High Court Order.

On 19th October, 2022, APWD Workers has staged territory wide muss demonstrations, at Port Blair, hundreds of workers assembled in front of the chief Engineer’s office and held protest demonstrations, the mass demonstrations will continue till the demands are met.

CITU fully support the demands of APWD workers and demands upon the UT labour department and administration to resolve the legitimate demands of the workers, CITU also demands fixing of accountability of the UT Govt, Chief Engineer and other officials who deliberately disobeyed the High Court orders. CITU, while conveying solidarity to the struggling workers congratulates the union and the mass of APWD workers for their indefinite protest demonstrations on their legitimate and just demands.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions vehemently denounces the coercive MOU entered into between the Election Commission and thousands of employers (Corporate Houses)/industries in Poll-bound Gujarat. The MOU assigns/empowers the employers to monitor the electoral participation of their workforce and publish the names of those workers who did not vote on their website/notice boards.

It is amply clear that such MOU is not just meant for addressing voter apathy; the decision to identify, name and shame those not casting their votes (among the workers) tantamount to coercion and victimisation to which the Election Commission or the employers are not entitled to. After all, voting is a right of every citizen in democracy, and exercise of that right cannot be made a compulsion. Similar move on earlier occasion was stayed by Judiciary in Gujarat itself.

This is a clear reflection of the Election Commission’s over-reach going much beyond their mandate, as has already been seen from Commission’s move of interfering  with the rights of the political parties in the matter of poll-promises. Further it gives the employers’ class another handle not only to coerce and harass the working people; but it may also open the avenue to provoke unduely pressure, manipulation or influence on the voters by the employers, obviously in favour of ruling dispensation.

While condemning such move, particularly targeting the workers, CITU demands upon the Election Commission to please refrain from such “over-reach” exercise. CITU calls upon the workers and democratic forces to rise in protest against such unconstitutional and authoritarian move. 

Issued by 
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

CITU extends full support to the ongoing heroic strike action from 11th October 2022 at Yamaha Motors Private Ltd at Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu against the brazenly anti- worker wages and working conditions sought to be imposed on the workers by the management through so called agreement with its pet union which does not represent the mass of the workers at all.

The philistine ploy to break the CITU led union - Yahama Motor Thizhilalar Sangam got thoroughly exposed when overwhelming majority of the workers of India Yamaha Motors joined the strike in contemptuous rejection of the so called deal between the Yamaha MGT and their pets under the garb of one union.

CITU fully supports the demands of the workers for recognition of IYMTS and all its office bearers, scrap the anti worker deal between MGT and its pet entity and demands upon the state labour dept and government to intervene to prevent the management from its unlawful, conspiratorial anti worker acts with strong hand.

CITU, while conveying solidarity to the struggling workers congratulates the union and the mass of the Yamaha workers for their determined strike action on their legitimate demands and for justice and dignity.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Monday, 03 October 2022 16:25

Homage to Comrade Kumar Shiralkar

Centre of Indian Trade Unions pays respectful homage to Comrade Kumar Shiralkar, ideologue and one of the tallest leaders of the left movement, a leader of agricultural workers and tribals in Maharashtra. He was 75 yrs. He died yesterday, 2 October 2022 at a hospital at Nashik. He was fighting cancer since 2019.

Comrade Kumar Shiralkar left his job as an engineer, in early 70s and started organizing the tribals of north Maharashtra founding ‘ShramikSanghatana’ as the name suggests, with a class perspective. He was jailed during emergency. He started organizing the agricultural workers in early 80s and was the State Secretary of agricultural workers union, Maharashtra. He was the joint secretary of AIAWU for a long time. He worked closely associated with the CITU in Maharashtra. He has done studies on the plight of sugar cane workers of Maharashtra.

With in depth understanding in Marxist philosophy, he stood firm in ideological struggles with a strong class orientation in the movement. He has authored two books and numerous articles on diverse subjects. He was committed to the cause of Dalits and tribals and has written profusely on the subject.  He has also helped the CITU, Maharastra in cadre education.

A committed revolutionary, he has led an exemplary simple life. Even when he was ill, he stayed among the tribals in the village.

His death is a great loss to the trade union and progressive movement in Maharashtra. CITU expresses heartfelt condolences to his family and comrades.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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