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Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) condemns the  hike of Rs.25 per litre of diesel for the bulk buyers. CITU opposes it vehemently as it is  another attack on the State Transport Undertakings and other bulk users, the burden of which will be passed on to the mass of the people using public transports and such other services.

The BJP Govt at the Centre which is all through imposing burdens on the people has initiated this another hike which shall be an unbearable burden with already spiralling prices all around eating into the common people's earnings. It will further worsen the lives of ordinary people with Transport costs also rising enormously in the current phase of stagflation.

It is another form of attack on the Public sector undertakings, particularly on Public Transport Undertakings as a part of its multi dimensional offensive to dismantle the public sector as a whole through privatisation or its new avatar Asset Monetisation Pipeline. 

The CITU urges the Modi Govt to ensure withdrawal of such a massive hike immediately. 

CITU appeals to all the  public transport workers and mass of the people to join the forthcoming General Strike on March 28th and 29th and make it a success as a befitting reply against this  price raise and in defence of Public road transport.

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

CITU registers its protest with indignation against the order of the Kerala High Court restraining the workers’ unions in Cochin Refinery, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), going for strike on 28 & 29th March in deference to the call of National Convention held on 11th November, 2021 at New Delhi organized by the Ten Central Trade Unions and scores of Industrial/Sectoral Federations/Associations against the anti-people and anti-worker policies of the Central government.

The Court has passed such blatant order which virtually banned the strike in the wake of the petitions filled by the BPCL, Cochin Refinery which unfortunately took shelter in the section 22 (d) of Industrial Dispute Act that prohibits strike or lock-out during the pendency of the conciliation proceedings.

It is irony that strike demands are nothing to do with petitioner - company to conciliate rather the demands are more connected to the anti-national policies of the Central Government to sell off all the Public Sector Enterprises like BPCL to the private in utter disregard to the public interest.

We, while urging upon the Hon’ble Kerala High Court to recede the ban order, call upon the working class of the country to make the general strike a magnificent success so as to reverse the anti-national policies of the Central government to save the nation; to save the Public Sector Undertakings; to save the people.

Issued By
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Saturday, 12 March 2022 19:37

CITU DENOUNCES EPF INTEREST RATE REDUCTION

In another anti-worker move of the BJP led Union Government, the representatives of the Government as well as employers'  in the Central Board of Trustees of EPFO have urged for the reduction of EPF interest rate. So the board has decided to recommend for reduction of the interest rates from current 8.5% to 8.1%. The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) denounces that so called "majority" decision of the board to recommend the reduction of  EPF interest rates for the financial year 2021-22.

All Employees’ representatives in the Central Board of Trustees of EPFO representing the Central Trade Unions including CITU have opposed it in unison in the Board meeting held at Guwahati, on March 11th and 12th of 2022, inspite of which the Board has decided to recommend to reduce the interest rate based on the Government and Employers’ representatives proposal.

The argument of the Union Government is to treat it on par with interest rates of any other deposits in banks can never be acceptable as EPF is a recurring life time savings of the employees meant for their future as part of social security.  This has to be differentially treated than any other deposits linked interest rates in banking sector.

CITU calls on the workers to make success of the forth coming General Strike on March 28th & 29th against the anti working class policies of Modi led BJP Government as a befitting reply to the anti-people and anti-worker policies including EPF  interest rates  reduction which is the lowest in the last 44 years.

 

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary.

 

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions condemns yet another destructive drive of the Modi Govt at the centre to expeditiously facilitate the loot of national assets by the corporate lobby.

A wholly owned public sector entity titled National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) is being created to sell out the huge land and allied assets at the disposal of the public sector companies and departmental undertakings in favour of private corporate class, both foreign and domestic. This atrocious move is to both supplement as well as facilitate another plundering project of the Govt, called National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP), which is meticulously designed to hand over in phases and tranches, the infrastructural sector in entirety viz., Railways, Roadways, electricity-grid network, petroleum and gas pipeline network, port & dock, coal projects, telecom network etc virtually free to private corporates to extract revenue from those assets with an arrangement of sharing a minority part of the same with the Govt.

The NLMC is conceived to practically operate as a kind of real estate agency to preside over and operationalise the sale of huge land and other assets like buildings etc at the disposal of various PSUs and Departmental Undertakings like Railways, Defence, Telecom etc. The huge prime landed assets with the PSUs and DPSUs could very well be utilized for expansion and modernization of those profit-making and core sector PSUs and DPSUs which are making regular and recurring contributions to national exchequer. But a Govt married with the notorious philosophy to privatise the state owned undertakings in entirety in favour of their corporate masters is not expected to be committed to such basic economic prudence.

When the Govt. is obsessed with the programme of dismantling the PSUs at any cost and by any means, national assets being sold under their supervision can never be in national interests; till now, none of privatisation deals from VSNL to BALCO, IPCL, Airports, Air India etc had been fair and transparent and even CAG could not avoid commenting on many of those deals. Under the present political dispensation, the so called monetization of landed assets are destined to cause unimaginable loss to national interests, going to be sold at incalculably under-priced, as is natural phenomenon in any real-estate operation under the stewardship of the Govt in position. And the very idea of meeting the huge fiscal gap caused by lavish concessions to corporate class being piloted by the communal-corporate nexus in governance by way of selling the huge landed and infrastructural assets for a song, as articulated by this notorious NLMC reflects extreme and desperate perversion of those in governance and nothing else.

Soon after the announcement of the said NLMC, mainstream media outlets started publishing the excess land figures. Railways and defence are the biggest government land owners in the country. According to available Govt. data, the total land available with the Railways is 11.80 lakh acres of which 1.25 lakh acres is vacant. The defence ministry has about 17.95 lakh acres of which around 1.6 lakh acres is within the 62 cantonments, and about 16.35 lakh acres outside their boundaries, according to data from the Directorate General, defence Estates. This huge land assets will be given to big corporates, both domestic and foreign, through this newly initiated NLMC at cheapest prices. The media buzz is that, the vast surplus land of BEML and HMT in Karnataka will likely to be sold soon.

CITU vehemently denounces such anti-national dubious exercise of so called NLMC along with NMP and calls upon the working class to resist and oppose such notorious design of plunder on the national assets through united struggle – raising the observance of two days’ countrywide general strike on 28-29 March 2022 to a massive height of success and thereby paving the way for determined Defiance and Resistance.

Issued by,
Tapan Sen
General Secretary 

Thursday, 10 March 2022 18:03

Homage to Comrade Aijaz Ahmad

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses deep sorrow at the passing away of Prof. Aijaz Ahamad, a legendary Marxist-Leninist intellectual of our times who passed away on 9 March 2022. 

A committed Marxist, comrade Aijas played a tremendous role in defending and expanding Marxist analysis when imperialist propaganda of "end of ideology" and "end of history" was gaining momentum. A brilliant demonstration of this defence was his seminal ideological struggle against "post modernism" which was making considerable inroads into Left vocabulary and practice with the collapse of USSR. A staunch defender of the working class politics, comrade Aijaz exposed the anti communist underpinnings of post modernism and it's ideological attack on "Dictatorship of the Proletariat".

Aijaz identified "the most far reaching consequence of post modernism in practical politics" as the "atomisation of politics". He used" atomisation of politics" to refer to the phenomenon of the "displacement of class politics by an amorphous entity called culture, the further displacement of the politics of Equality by the politics of Identity, the fracture of the unity of the exploited and the oppressed into countless little oppositional claims, so that resistance seems to everywhere but nowhere in particular".

 Apart from this crucial ideological defense of the organised working class movement, Aijas also delved into the depth of the fascistic movement in India.  Till the end of his life, Aijaz forcefully argued that fascistic tendencies in Indian society can be defeated only under the leadership of organised working class movement.

He has always maintained close relation with the CITU and like minded organizations. His demise at this juncture is a big loss to the progressive movement of the country.

CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, friends and comrades and submits its homage of respect to the signal contribution for the cause of the toiling people and the society.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly condemns the severe repressions let-loose by the BJP government of Haryana against the Anganwadi workers and helpers who have been on strike since December 8th, 2021 demanding the implementation of the already Govt-declared wage hike commitment. Instead of having negotiation with these striking frontline workers and their Unions who  excellent rendered services during the  height of the Covid pandemic risking their own lives, the Govt has unleashed repression on them. The state Govt has also shamelessly invoked ESMA against them.

Despite all these repression unleashed by the Haryana BJP government from day one, the strike is continuing in full swing and the Coordination Committee of Anganwadi Unions including CITU in Haryana has given a call for ‘March to Haryana Assembly’ on 3 March 2022 on the 85th day of their continuous strike when all the efforts for a dialogue with the government failed.

The Haryana Police under the direct dictates of Chief Minister has started the repression since yesterday (2 March) morning onwards, harassing and threatening and arresting in mass-scale the striking anganwadi workers and their families who were on their way for the Assembly March from different parts of the state. Government officials pressurized the vehicle owners to cancel all booking of vehicles made by the workers for reaching the state capital. CDPOs have been asked to ban anganwadi workers and helpers from traveling on state public transport buses!

All these repressions could not deter the determinations of the valiant anganwadi workers and helpers. Then Khattar government has resorted to arrest the them since yesterday evening and their vehicles were impounded. Today morning hundreds of vehicles with anganwadi workers were stopped at various places. Hundreds of workers were arrested and detained at various places. CITU National Secretaries Comrades A.R.Sindhu and Usha Rani, and General Secretary and President of All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWAH) respectively, were arrested at Barwala Toll Gate while leading the demonstration.  

Agitating workers are continuing their struggle by blockading the roads including highways in many places in Zirakpur, Yamunanagar Panchkulla Road, Panipat toll plaza, Barwala etc.

CITU, while congratulating the brave Anganwadi Workers and Helpers of Haryana for their valiant struggles, urges the State Government to stop the repressions and release all workers and leaders immediately and hold talk with them to resolve the impasse.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Central Government has decided to privatise the Chandigarh Union Territory Electricity Department. This is a cheapest and efficient electricity provider to the city and suburb populations. Moreover it’s a profit making entity.

In utter defiance to the Judicial dictum, the City electricity department will be bundled into a company and its share would be transferred to a Private Company. The Kolkata-based industrial and services conglomerate RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) Group had said to be quoted so called ‘highest bid’ of Rs.871 crores to take over the department of having annual turnover of more than Rs 1,000 crores and with Rs.20,000- Rs.25,000 crores of worth of assets. The Central Government has decided to sell such huge public assets to a private company called the Eminent Electricity Distribution (EED), the wholly-owned subsidiary of RPSG flagship company the Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation. In order to legitimize this day light loot of public assets, the valuation of  land and fixed assets has been fixed @Re 1/- per annum.

Though the privatization decision was taken in 2020, it was thus far stalled by the vociferous agitations by the electricity employees under the banner of UT Powermen Union Chandigarh- both in and out of courts.

When the Central Home Ministry took the final decision to sell this important government department to private in September 2021, immediately the Chandigarh electricity employees went on several strikes since October, 2021. Then again went for one day strike on 1st February, 2022 where hundreds of electricity employees from adjoining states of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab rallied in solidarity. National leaders of Employees and Engineers organisations from power sector took part representing broad based platform of National Coordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE). Again, on 15th March, 2022 the entire Chandigarh civil society- resident associations and general public including peasants from the rural area mobilised at large along with Trade Unions and political parties -revolted against this disastrous anti-national move and staged a massive dharna. Now the UT Powermen Union Chandigarh has declared 72 hours strike- that is three day strike from February 22 to 24th 2022 against this anti-national move of transferring the profit-making public entity to the private. If the demand to stop privatization is not conceded, the UT Powermen Union Chandigarh has declared that this 72 hours strike would be converted into an indefinite strike.

When Central government contemplated such a move of reckless privatization of electricity utilities in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Pondicherry, it was defeated by the united joint movement of electricity employees and engineers with public support in their respective UTs. Without learning any lesson from these episodes, the authoritarian regime embarked upon the same route to demonstrate its loyalty to private corporate.

CITU while expressing solidarity with struggling Chandigarh electricity employees besides the general public who are extending unflinching support to the workers, unequivocally condemns this privatization drive- the unbridled servility of the Modi regime to the corporate caprices for the public assets and demands to stop this anti-national activities unconditionally forthwith.

Issued By
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

Budget 2022-23 presented today in Parliament is full of high decibel sound bites with little  substance. The Budget also in continuance of the Economic Survey presented one day before reflects its cruel insensitivity  to the unimaginable miseries in the form of huge loss of livelihood, loss of earnings, deepening impoverishment and intensified hunger in the midst of orchestrated price-rise,  still being suffered by the majority of the populace along with simultaneous minting of huge fortunes by the handful of big corporate class, thereby portraying an extremely  obscene inequality, not permissible in any civilized society. The so called “inclusive growth”, “financial inclusion” severally pronounced by the Finance Minister  in her speech displays shameless hypocrisy of the BJP Govt and nothing else.   

The Budget is presented in the overall background of desperate and destructive privatization drive embracing the infrastructure, manufacturing and mineral sectors in entirety, facilitating transfer of resources from National kitty to private hands, both domestic and foreign. The Finance Minister at the very beginning of her budget speech patted herself back for its successful bonanza of the National Carrier Air India and Nilachal Ispat to the TATAs and reiterating Govt’s resolve of further transfer of  state-owned capital assets to private sector, both domestic and foreign. In fact, under Modi regime, economic policy making is gradually being hijacked out of the purview of the Parliamentary process and the Current Budget reveals the same authoritarian and anti-people destructive trend, much to the detriment of the national interests.

In that background, the Budget figures do not match with the noise of enhanced capital expenditure for productive employment generation, claimed to have been budgeted in the budget speech. Effective Capital expenditure budgeted in 2022-23 is Rs 1.06 lakh crore revealing a marginal and insignificant rise compared to actual expenditure on the same head in 2021-22, and getting largely neutralized by the inflationary impact. In fact, the effective capital expenditure for 2022-23 is well below the actual capital receipt of previous year by around Rs 63000 crore. And even this budgeted capital expenditure drawn from national exchequer meant for development of infrastructure and logistics will be mostly routed through private corporates as repeatedly asserted by the Minister in her speech; already announced project of National Monetisation Pipeline brought to light the programme of such orchestrated drainage of public fund and assets to the disposal of private corporate.

In the background of drastic fall in consumption expenditure in the economy mostly suffered by the majority of the toiling populace in absolute distress, need of the hour has been an aggressive demand-augmentation measures through focused enhancement of expenditure for the welfare and social heads and focused programme of employment generation. But true to its class character and big-business servile orientation, the Govt has moved in just opposite direction.  The claim of 60 lakh additional employment generation in five years is nothing but a hoax.

The Budget exposed its brazenly anti-people contractionary character on all counts. The revenue expenditure budgeted in 2022-23 of Rs 3.19 lakh crore supposed to include the so called host of welfare schemes named after Prime Minister marks an increase by less than 1%, despite a huge increase in GST collection as boasted by Finance Minister in her budget speech. To be specific on some of those items, the allocation on MNREGA is reduced to Rs 73000 crore from Rs 98000 crore previous year; in the face of increased intensity of widespread hunger, food subsidy  under National Food Security Act has been slashed down by 30%; fertilizer subsidy has been also drastically cut by 25% and petroleum subsidy by 11% in the face of skyrocketing fuel price. Even the allocation for Mid-day-meal scheme, (now renamed as PM-Poshan) faced a drastic cut by Rs 1267 crore.

Similarly, allocations for MSP for paddy and wheat has been slashed down by Rs 11000 crore; the allocations for PM Fasal Bima Yojana, PM-Kisan Yojana, Crop Husbandry, etc –all faced a drastic cut. For National Health Mission, and Anganwadi (ICDS), there is no increase in allocations meaning thereby a cut, if inflation is taken into account. There are many such examples.

Budget did not bother about the miseries being faced by the working people during the pandemic in the form of loss of livelihood and earnings and also widespread and rabid informalisation of employment. Despite demands for relief and expansion of social security universally for all, the budget remained absolutely in a denial mode for the working people who actually create wealth for the nation. Rather the Govt has been squeezing cruelly the toiling people through increasing burden of indirect taxes along with orchestrated price rise of all essential commodities including fuel prices, besides drastic cut in food subsidies.

On the other hand, the Govt is liberal in showering concessions on its corporate masters. In the name of measures for further simplifying tax administration for facilitating compliance, in the current budget the Govt is actually indulging, rather promoting tax-evasion by the habitually defaulting and tax-evading corporate community. As per the documents the circulated along with budget, in 2020-21 tax concessions in the form of incentive to corporate was a whopping Rs 72041 crore, over and above the  huge tax-default by the same big-business class of Rs 4.05 lakh crore. Such a crime on the nation and the people is being further indulged instead of being curbed with strong hand.

CITU considers the current Budget is totally anti-people and utterly destructive so far the national economy is concerned. The working class must oppose the destructive policy regime and assert through united resistance struggle countrywide.

March towards the two day countrywide general strike on 28-29 March 2022 against this destructive anti-people policy regime.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

28.01.2022 को आयोजित केन्द्रीय ट्रेड यूनियनों और क्षेत्रीय फेडरेशनों/एसोसिएशनों के संयुक्त मंच की ऑनलाइन बैठक ने सरकार की मजदूर विरोधी, जनविरोधी, राष्ट्र विरोधी नीतियों के खिलाफ दो दिवसीय देशव्यापी आम हड़ताल की तारीखों में बदलाव किया है। जो अब 23-24 फरवरी, 2022 के स्थान पर 28-29 मार्च, 2022 होंगी।

बैठक में 11 नवंबर, 2021 को आयोजित मजदूरों के नेशनल कन्वेंशन में वर्ष 2022 में संसद के बजट सत्र के दौरान दो दिवसीय देशव्यापी आम हड़ताल आयोजित करने के निर्णय को याद किया गया और तदनुसार 3 दिसंबर 2021 को आयोजित मंच की संयुक्त बैठक में 23-24 फरवरी 2022 को हड़ताल की तारीख तय की गई थी।

बैठक में कहा गया है कि कई राज्यों और सेक्टरों में हड़ताल की तैयारी शुरू हो गई है, कुछ राज्यों में संयुक्त राज्य स्तरीय सम्मेलन और यहाँ तक कि जिला स्तरीय सम्मेलन भी हो चुके हैं।

हालांकि कई राज्यों ने ओमीक्रोन महामारी की बढ़ती तीसरी लहर के कारण हड़ताल की तैयारियों पर गंभीर बाधाओं की भी सूचना दी है। इसके अलावा, 23 फरवरी को होने वाले यूपी में राज्य विधानसभा चुनाव के एक चरण, 23-24 फरवरी के करीब ही तमिलनाडु, ओडिशा, पश्चिम बंगाल में स्थानीय निकाय चुनाव आदि जैसे कई कारकों पर ध्यान दिया गया। इसलिए केन्द्रीय ट्रेड यूनियनों और क्षेत्रीय फेडरेशनों/एसोसिएशनों के संयुक्त मंच ने आम हड़ताल की तारीखों को 28-29 मार्च, 2022 तक स्थगित करने का फैसला किया है, जब संसद के बजट सत्र का दूसरा चरण वास्तव में चालू होगा।

केन्द्रीय ट्रेड यूनियनों और क्षेत्रीय फेडरेशनों/एसोसिएशनों का संयुक्त मंच 28-29 मार्च 2022 को दो दिवसीय देशव्यापी आम हड़ताल को जबरदस्त सफल बनाने के लिए मेहनतकशों और उनकी यूनियनों का आह्वान करता है कि जनता और राष्ट्र को विनाशकारी एवं राष्ट्रविरोधी नीति शासन से बचाने के लिए जोरदार तैयारी अभियान चलाऐं। संयुक्त मंच ने चुनावी राज्यों में मजदूरों और उनकी ट्रेड यूनियनों से भी आह्वान किया कि वे भाजपा सरकार को हराने के लिए जोरदार प्रचार करें। जिनकी नीतियों ने मजदूरों के नेशनल कन्वेंशन को दो दिनों की देशव्यापी हड़ताल का आह्वान करने के लिए मजबूर किया है।
                   

 इंटक   एटक    एचएमएस   सीटू   एआईयूटीयूसी  टीयूसीसी  सेवा  एआईसीसीटीयू  एलपीएफ यूटीयूसी

और स्वतंत्र क्षेत्रीय फेडरेषनें/एसोसिएषनें

The online meeting of the Joint Platform of Central Trade Unions and Sectoral Federations/ Associations held on 28.01.2022 has changed the dates for Two Days’ Countrywide General Strike Against the Anti-worker, Anti-people, Anti-national Policies of the Govt. to 28-29 March, 2022 from the earlier dates of 23-24 February, 2022.

The meeting recalled the decision of the National Convention of Workers held on 11th November 2021 to organize two days countrywide General Strike during the Budget Session of Parliament in 2022 and accordingly the dates of the strike on 23-24th February 2022 were decided in the joint meeting of the Platform held on 3rd December 2021. 

The meeting noted that preparations for the strike have taken-off in several states and sectors, with joint state level conventions and even district level conventions having taken place in some states. 

However several states have also reported severe constraints placed on strike preparations due to rising third wave of Omicron pandemic. Besides, several factors such as one phase of state assembly elections in UP falling on 23rd February, local body elections in Tamilnadu, Odisha, West Bengal etc. close to 23-24 February were taken note of. Therefore the Joint Platform of the CTUs and Sectoral Federations/ Associations have decided to defer the General Strike dates to 28-29 March, 2022, when the second phase of the Budget Session of Parliament will actually be in session. 

The Joint Platform of CTUs calls upon the working people and their unions irrespective of affiliations to intensify the ongoing preparatory campaign and activities to make the Two Days Countrywide General Strike on 28-29 March 2022 a massive success to assert their pledge to Save the People and Save the Nation from the destructive, anti-national policy regime. The Joint Platform also calls upon the workers and their trade unions in the election-bound states to vigorously campaign for defeating the BJP Govt. whose policies have forced the National Convention of Workers to give a call for two days countrywide strike.

                             

        INTUC                     AITUC                    HMS                     CITU                       AIUTUC

          TUCC                SEWA                      AICCTU                     LPF                    UTUC

                            And Independent Sectoral Federations/Associations

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