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Thursday, 30 November 2023 12:03

CWFI Writes to Prime Minister of India

Construction Workers Safety Matters!

Conduct Through Probe into the Silkyara Tunnel Collapse!

Take Stringent Action Against Those Responsible!


The Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI)expressed relief at the rescue of the 41 construction workers from the Silkyara tunnel in Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand and congratulated the rat miners for their contribution rescuing the workers.

The Uttarkashi tunnel collapse raises alarming questions about the negligence of the contractor and the authorities in taking measures for the safety of the workers following revelations that the tunnel lacked a requisite escape route. It also exposed the laxity and violations of the existing legal provisions and norms.

The Silkyaratunnel collapse is only one in a series of accidents, which occur due to the utter negligence of the authorities and the construction companies. The tunnel collapse incident once again exposes the disastrous consequences of handing over public infrastructure management, both at state and Centre to private corporate contractors that too on liberal deregulated formats, from the state run public works departments.

The Hyderabad based NavayugaEnginerringCompany, which is executing the project is the same company which is constructing the Nagpur – Mumbai Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra’s Thane district where barely three months ago 20 construction workers lost their lives when a gantry crane collapsed and fell on the workers and engineers present at the site. Though a FIR was registered against the Navayuga Engineering Company after Samriddhi Expressway accident, no action was taken. The same company has been granted the RishikeshKarnaprayag rail link project. It seems that like the Adani group, Navayuga has become a favoured company for the Modi government in infrastructure projects.

CWFI has written letters to Prime Minister of India and Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on 30th November 2023 highlighting the gross safety violations in Silkyara tunnel collapse and demandedthorough judicial probe into the whole matter to fix accountability and stringent punishment for those who are responsible for this dreadful incident. It has also demanded that no construction work should be allowed without ensuing that all the necessary safety measures are put in place.

It demanded that the government of India ratify ILO conventions related to health and safety, which have been brought under fundamental principles of rights at work by the ILO in its session in 2022.

CWFI has decided to take up an extensive campaign on the above demands across the country in the coming months of December - January.

All the affiliated unions of CWFI will also send letters to Prime Minister and CM, Uttarakhand on 1st December, 2023 as a part of CWFI’s nationwide campaign to expose the callousness of government.

Issued by:
U.P Joseph,
General Secretary

Wednesday, 15 November 2023 11:55

Long Live Comrade N. Sankaraiah!

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses its deep grief at the sad demise of Comrade N. Sankaraiah, the freedom fighter and veteran communist leader today 15th November, 2023 at Chennai where he was admitted in a private hospital under brief illness. He was 102 years old.

Born on 15th July 1922, Sankariah joined the Communist Party in 1940 and became one of the key organisers of the united Party in Tamilnadu.

Comrade Sankaraiah was first arrested in 1941, when he was a student of The American College in Madurai. He organised a protest in support of the students of Annamalai University in Chidambaram, at the instance of late Communist leader A.K. Gopalan, who was in underground then in Madurai. When the police searched the students’ hostel, they found pamphlets written by Sanakaraiah, and he was arrested. The incident put an end to his institutional studies. He could not complete his degree, as he was put in prison just 15 days before his final examinations. His first jail term lasted 18 months.

Comrade Sankaraiah had also actively participated in the Quit India movement during the struggle of Independence. In his long political career, he had spent nine years in prison during both pre-Independence days, and later after the country achieved freedom as well. He was the one of the major accused in the Madurai Conspiracy case filed in 1946. When CPI(M) was subjected to repression in 1965, he was arrested and incarcerated in prison for 16 months.

He made a major contribution in building the Communist movement in Tamilnadu and he served as the secretary of state committee from 1995 to 2002. He was the party Central Committee Member for more than two decades. He was elected thrice to the Tamilnadu state Assembly in 1967, 1977 and 1980. He was the leader of the CPI(M) group in the Assembly in 1977 and 1980.

He was also involved in organizing peasants and became the General Secretary and President of the All India Kisan Sabha.

He was an erudite speaker in chaste Tamil and could drive home the working class politics and policies among the toiling people lucidly. In the death of Comrade N. Sankaraiah, Indian working class movement has lost one of its tallest leaders of having great legacy of sacrifice and dedication. CITU dips its red flag in memory and respect of Com N. Sankaraiah, and convey its heartfelt condolences to his two sons and family members.  

Issued By
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) is extremely grieved at the passing away of the veteran leader of the working class movement and also a veteran parliamentarian comrade Basudeb Acharia, today on 13th November 2023 after prolonged ailment in a hospital at Hyderabad at the age of 82. Com Basudeb Acharia had been the national Vice President of CITU for decades and had been the permanent invitee to the national secretariat of CITU since last six years.

Comrade Basudeb Acharia got actively involved in the working class movement from the very beginning of active political life and played the frontline role in the trade union movement across the sectors, both organized and unorganized. Till his demise he had been the President of All India Coal Workers Federation and led many militant struggles of coal workers including numerous strike actions. Besides coal, he was also active in coordinating the movement of Railway workers in various segments, viz., Loco Running, railway contract workers of various trades/occupations and played crucial role in getting a large sections of temporary/casual/contract workers regularized as permanent workers in Railways. He was also involved in FCI workers’ movement and many others.  He was also President of All India Union of LIC Agents till its last Conference.

Com Basudeb Acharia also played a memorable role as a veteran Parliamentarian during his long nine time tenure as a member of Lok Sabha, elected from West Bengal from 1980 till 2014 in championing the cause of the toiling people of the country, both inside and outside the Parliament. He played crucial role as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Railways in opposing, and in many cases halting the neoliberal privatization oriented measures in Railways by the successive govts at the centre. And the most memorable part of his services to the toiling people had been that his door was always open to all the workers irrespective of their trade union affiliations and their states, whosoever approached him for any difficulties/problems. He used to respond to all of them with his intervention.

Comrade Basudeb Acharia throughout his active political life did articulate as to how the movement of the working people is effectively advanced, promoted and also combined through united struggles outside the Parliament along with effective interventions within the Parliamentary forum. His forthright interventions within the Parliament on all the issues and occasions of the struggles of the working people will be remembered for ever.

His failing health owing to various ailments could not deter him from his physical presence and interventions in most of the important struggles by the working class, both at national level and in at sectoral level in numerous sectors. He rarely failed to attend the organizational meetings of CITU. As President of All India Coal Workers Federation, com Acharia used to move to different collieries throughout the country. Even a month or so before his demise, he was seen in attending the dharna of Loco Running Staff, demonstration by FCI godown workers in Adra, Purulia and the adjoining area. Till the last breath, except during his detention in hospital, Com Basudev Acharia rarely failed to remain active in the struggle of the working people from the frontline.

With his passing away, the working class movement lost a stalwart leader with the strongest conviction in the ideology of the working class and the determinant role of the working class in the battle for change of the exploitative system; a big void is created which is difficult to fill up.

CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members of the departed leader, dips its banner and submits homage of respect to the great contribution of comrade Basudeb Acharia for the cause of the people and the toiling class. Red Salute to Comrade Basudeb Acharia……    

Tapan Sen
General Secretary


It is reported that while carrying on genocidal attack on Palestine killing several thousands Palestinian people, including women and children, the Israel Authority has also reportedly issued order for Palestinian workers, working in various sectors within Israel to leave Israel. In that process of the same the Israeli Builders’ Association has taken move to urge India to send 50,000 to 1,00,000 workers, construction workers in particular from India for working in Israel. The Israeli Builders Association has also reportedly sent their request to Govt of India directly and also through Israeli Govt.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions, while denouncing and condemning such brutal inhuman acts of the Israeli Authority  against the Palestinian workers in Israel, to supplement its ongoing genocidal massacre on Palestine, demands upon the Govt of India not to allow sending Indian workers, including construction workers to Israel. CITU also alerts and calls upon the working people to respond to and refuse any such move by the Govt, if any, with contempt.

CITU welcomes the resolution adopted and call given by Construction Workers’ Federation of India (CITU) to frontally oppose any such move to dispatch Indian workers to Israel at this crucial time.

CITU, on behalf of the working class, reiterates its demand upon Govt of India to refuse to respond to any such purported move of the Israeli Govt and the Builders’ Association there. The Govt of India must rather support, shunning all vacillation, the latest UN Resolution for immediate ceasefire by Israel on a humanitarian truce and  to ensure a Palestinian Homeland with  pre-1967 border, free from all occupation.

CITU calls upon the working people throughout India to organize massive solidarity mobilization in support of Palestinian people and their demand for Homeland as per UN resolutions and against the US-imperialist backed ongoing genocide against Palestine.

CITU also calls upon the working class to join the protest-cum solidarity action on Palestinian issue being organized by the progressive and Left forces during 7-10 November 2023, when the US State Secretary Antony Blinken and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin are visiting India.  

( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

The Construction Workers, Federation of India expresses serious concern at the reports that talks are going on between India and Israel over sending construction workers from India to work in Israel in place of Palestinian workers who are not in a position to work since the Israeli war on Palestine.  It is reported that Israeli authorities have ordered Palestinian workers working in different sectors in Israel with work permits to leave, as part of their attacks on Palestinians. While the Israeli Builders, Association has asked for 50000 -100000 Indian construction workers to replace Palestinian workers, it is reported that Israel and India are negotiating about sending 15000 workers. 

The Construction Workers Federation of India strongly objects to any attempt to send the poor construction workers of our country to Israel to overcome its shortage of workers and in any way support its genocidal attacks on Palestine killing thousands of innocent people including children and women.

The Construction Workers Federation of India demands that Indian government support the UN resolution calling for immediate ceasefire, Palestinian state with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital. CWFI demands the Government of India to use its diplomatic relations with Israel to abide by the UN resolution instead of negotiating for sending construction workers to that country. 

CWFI calls upon all its members, all the construction workers of India and also the people to protest against the moves to put the lives of construction workers of our country at risk by sending them to Israel and make them indirect partners in its genocidal attacks on Palestinians. 

Construction workers of India stand in solidarity with the working class and the people of Palestine under genocidal attack by Israel with the full backing of the USA and other imperialist countries 

UP Joseph 
General Secretary

Thursday, 05 October 2023 17:04

Homage to Comrade Anathalavattom Anandan

Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU) pays respectful homage to veteran trade union leader, All India Vice President and Kerala State President of CITU, Comrade Anathalavattom Anandan who passed away today (5 October 2023) at Thiruvananthapuram. He was under treatment for cancer. He was 86 years old.

Comrade Anandan was born on 22 April 1937 in Anathalavattom in Thiruvananthapuram district. Anandan started his political activities during his school days itself. He worked as a coir worker and organized the coir workers. In 1958, he has organsied a mighty struggle of coir workers demanding an increase inwages. This was when the first communist government was in power and the mill owners were denying the rights of the workers.He became the undisputed leader of the coir workers in Kerala through innumerable struggles facing severe repression. He led many state marches of coir workers including the one in 1973 to protest against the local police killing of Comrade Ammu, a coir worker at Vazhamuttom in Thiruvananthapuram district. He led the famous Coir Strike in 1975.He took the lead in forming cooperatives of coir workers as well. He served as the General Secretary and President of the Coir Workers’ Centre, Kerala since 1973. He was also the general secretary of Travancore Coir Thozhilali Union from 1970 to 1995.

He had organised many sections of the most downtrodden sections of the working class in Kerala. An uncompromising leader to the cause of the working class, he led many unions of various sections, ranging from the traditional sectors, unorganized sector as well as the most modern organsied sector. He led unions of Press Workers , Sawmill Workers private transport workers, toddy tappers,  Serifed Employees, SIDCO Employees and so on. He served as the president of Kerala State Road Transport Employees Association (KSRTEA), Kerala Financial Corporation Officers' Association, Kerala State Co-Operative Bank Employees Federation, Khadi Board Employees Association, and Travancore Titanium Officers' Association.

Comrade Anandan has faced many hardships and state repression in his seven decade long public life. He has been arrested and detained on several occasions, as well as injured during protests. He led a ‘hunger march’ throughout Kerala in 1975 just before emergency. During the Emergency, he went underground for a year and a half and was declared a wanted fugitive under infamous MISA. He was arrested in November 1976 and detained until the lifting of the Emergency.

Comrade Anandan was actively involved in CITU since its inception and had attended all the All India Conferences of CITU from the foundation conference and he was elected as the President of the CITU Kerala State unit in 2013. He has also been a member of the All India Working Committee of CITU since 1979 and was elected as an All India Office Bearer in 2013 and continued in the position till date.

Comrade Anandan was a member of state secretariat of CPI(M).

He lived a very simple life and was a popular leader of the people. He served as the President of Chirayinkeezhu Grama Panchayath from 1979 to 1984, and was then elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly three times from Attingal Constituency in 1987, 1996 and in 2006. He always raised issues of the working people in the Assembly. He was the Chief whip of the Government from 2006 to 2011 in the Left Democratic Front ministry.

Anandan served as the director of the Kerala State Coir Marketing Federation (Coirfed) from 1979 to 2001, and was the Chairman of Coirfed in 1989. He has also served as the Chairman of Foam Mattings India Ltd and Vice Chairman of National Coir Research & Management Institute (NCRMI).

He is married to Laila and has two children.

At this political juncture, loosing a comrade like him who was uncompromisingly dedicated to the class struggle and the working class ideology is a great loss to the working people of Kerala, CITU and the working class movement in particular. CITU dips its red flag in salute to the memory of the departed leader and conveys our heartfelt condolences to his family and the comrades.

Issued by
Tapan Sen,
General Secretary
CITU Secretariat

Wednesday, 04 October 2023 04:42

Stop Harassment of Those Who Speak the Truth 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly condemns the raids of the homes of journalists, scientists, cultural historians and several others in the early morning today by the Delhi police under the Home Ministry of the government of India, invoking the draconian UAPA.

This is nothing but an open onslaught on the right to freedom of expression guaranteed by our Constitution. It is a blatant attempt to suppress voices that have been opposing the Modi government’s disastrous policies imposing huge burdens on the people on the one hand and the spread of communal poison and hatred on the other. 

The Modi government has become notorious for deploying investigation agencies and foisting false cases to harass, intimidate and threaten independent media houses, organisations and individuals who have been making efforts to bring out the truth in the face of the continuous misinformation campaign and dissemination of fake news by its godi media.

BBC, Newslaundry, The Wire, Dainik Bhaskar and several other news agencies were targeted earlier. Now it has turned its ire against NewsClick, raiding the houses and taking away the laptops and mobile phones of its officials and employees.

Such authoritarian measures only show the increasing intolerance of the Modi government to any criticism against its anti worker, anti people and anti national policies, particularly in the wake of the growing united actions of the people, when Parliament elections are only a few months away.

CITU calls upon the workers and all sections of the people to strongly protest these heinous attacks aimed to suppress the media and prevent it from discharging its responsibility of bringing out the truth in a democratic society.

Issued by:
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) a class oriented Trade Union confederation representing more than 7 million workers and an affiliate of WFTU, extends its international working class solidarity to the Greek working class who under the banner of PAME went on a nationwide Workers strike on 21st September, 2023  against unbridled attacks on lives and livelihood of the workers, wage and pension freeze, lengthening of working hours, soaring inflation, worsening job security condition of workers,  growing precarious nature of jobs and unemployment.

After reinstallation of ruling ND Government in Greece under the prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the ND government renewed its policy assault on the working people, recently prime minister announced a savage austerity drive along with freeze on wage and pension. The government introduced a new bill in the parliament that imposes 13 hours work days, 78-hour work weeks, proceeds to abolish the work break, a number of benefits as a result of the dominance of new flexible forms of employment, they want to abolish the five-day work week and Sunday holiday in more sectors such as the food industry. Also the bill further criminalizes the right to strike and trade union action.

Against these brutal policy onslaughts, the PAME called for a nationwide workers strike on 21st September, that garnered huge popular support. On the strike day, Greece witnessed a collective action of the workers in the main Greek cities Athens, Piraeus, Patras, Lavrio, Lesvos.

The CITU fully supports the just demands of the PAME and demands upon the Greek Government to pay heed to demands of the workers. The CITU once again congratulates the working class of Greece in general and PAME in particular for their successful strike actions and calls upon its affiliates and members and also the entire fraternity of the WFTU within the country and abroad to organize solidarity actions.       

Issued by
Swadesh DevRoye
National Secretary, CITU & Head of International Affairs

Wednesday, 20 September 2023 14:48

Women’s Reservation Bill

The demand for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies is a long pending demand of the women’s movement, CITU and several other trade unions. The BJP led NDA government had dramatically introduced the Women’s Reservation Bill as the 128th Constitutional amendment bill in the ongoing special session of Parliament, when it has less than six months’ tenure left. The bill is supposed to get passed in both the houses of Parliament.

BJP had promised to ensure 33% reservation to women in Parliament and state assemblies in its election manifesto before 2014 parliament elections and reiterated in 2019 parliament elections. The bill has provision for sub quota for women within reserved quota for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. The bill, as introduced in Parliament now, has been linked to the next Census, which is yet to begin, the delimitation process and also requires ratification by at least half the state assemblies.So the one-third reservations for women in Parliament and state assemblies will come into effect not before 2029.

Thus, the introduction of the Womens’ Reservation Bill at the fag end of the tenure of this BJP government,which is marked by itsmanuvadi ideology and notoriously anti- women attitude,has to be seen as a deceptive act of image building to camouflage its failures.

One must recall the attitude of this BJP government towards the Olympian women wrestlers demanding action against Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, BJP MP, for sexual harassment.Instead of taking action against him as per law, the women wrestlers who brought laurels for the country were thrashed and beaten up on the streets, on the day of inauguration of the new Parliament house. It is a historical irony that the very government is forced to bring in the women’s reservation bill as the first bill in the first session in the new parliament house in an effort of image building.

CITU and its women’s sub-committee, the All India Coordination Committee of Working Women(CITU), along with the women’s organisations has been consistently in the forefront in the struggles for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state legislatures for the last three decades. It is the duty of the working class movement in general and working women in particular to carry on this struggle for representation in decision making till it is implemented.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Saturday, 16 September 2023 06:57

Homage to Comrade Kanai Bannerjee

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) pays respectful homage to Comrade Kanai Lal Bannerjee, freedom fighter, veteran trade union leader, ideologue and former National Secretary, CITU who passed away in the early hours today (15 September 2023) at his residence at Kolkata. He was under treatment for age related ailments. He was 97. He had donated his body to the Medical College.

Comrade Kanai Bannerjee who was affectionately called as Kanai da was born on 10 October 1926 in Bikrampur, Rani mandal village in Dhaka in erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He was attracted to the freedom movement and then to the communist movement in his teen age itself. He recalled attending a meeting addressed by Subhash Chandra Bose in Dhaka in 1939. He joined the freedom movement and the communist party in his student days and was active in Students’ Federation. He was active in organsing people’s movements for food during the food crisis and against state repression. He was expelled from home for his political activities. He was expelled from college in Kooch bihar for his political activities and was taken back due to the public pressure. He started his trade union activities in Kooch bihar. In early days he had organsied beedi workers, tailors, washer men etc and ran cooperatives for them in early 40s.  After his coming to Calcutta, he was active in SF as well as trade union. After partition, his family came to India.

He was associated with the Rail Road Workers’ Union during those days. Later he joined the railways. He worked in the leadership of All India Railway men’s Federation for a long time. He played a crucial role in the historic railway strike in 1974.  He was asked to take premature retirement from service in 1984 and joined the CITU centre at the initiative of Comrade BTR. He was elected as an Office bearer of CITU in 1989 and functioned from CITU headquarters till 2013 when he got relieved from his responsibilities and shifted to Kolkata. As an office bearer of CITU, he had undertaken responsibilities of various sectors and states. He insisted in promoting working women to the leadership of CITU. He was instrumental in setting up the CITU library.

He was member of the central committee of CPI(M) till 2008.

A prolific reader and a good teacher, he had vast knowledge and interest in philosophy, literature and culture. He was one of the frontline leaders who guided CITU in the fight against neoliberal ideological offensive. He contributed much to the historic Bhubaneswar document on organisation of CITU. With an in depth knowledge of Indian philosophy and ancient literature, he used to wage war and sensitise comrades against all sorts of deviations and also hindutva communal ideology.

He led a very simple Spartan life. He was very affectionate to the cadres and at the same time very tough and non-compromising in political ideological fight against revisionism. At this time of tough ideological fight against revisionism and post modernism, his demise is a big loss to the CITU and the revolutionary movement in the country. CITU dips its flag in respect to the departed revolutionary leader and organiser and conveys its condolences to his bereaved family members and comrades.

Issued by

Tapan Sen
For CITU Secretariat 

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