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Wednesday, 30 August 2023 15:05

Homage to Comrade Sarojini Balanandan

Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) pays respectful homage to Comrade Sarojini Balanandan, senior leader of the women’s movement in Kerala and former state President of Kerala State Committee and all India Vice President of AIDWA.  She passed away on 29 August 2023 at Kochi. She was 86.

Married to veteran trade union leader and former President of CITU, comrade E Balanandan, she joined the movement in 60s in Kerala. She had to face personal hardships as the wife of the trade union leader who had to spend his life in jail and underground.

As part of the women’s movement she led many struggles and faced police atrocities. She faced police lathicharge and was hospitalized for a week and then jailed during emergency for participating in a worker’s struggle.

She had served as the Panchayat President in Kalamassery, Eranakulam District and as the chairperson of social welfare board, Kerala. 

CITU expresses profound grief at her demise and conveys condolences to her family  members and comrades.

The historic All India Joint Convention of Workers and Farmers held on 24th August 2023, at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi was massive and full of determination to raise the pitch of their joint and coordinated agitations in the coming period. Jointly organised by the platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs)/Sectoral Federations/Associations and Samyukta Kisan Morcha, the Convention assessed the adverse and destructive impact of the Union Government policies on the workers, farmers, common people in general and on the democratic, secular, harmonious living of our people.

The convention in its declaration termed the policies of the party ruling in the Centre and some states as anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-people and against the national interests of our country. 

The convention called for ousting this ruling regime which is harming the Indian economy, making the lives of common people miserable with steep price rise of essential commodities, growing job-loss and increased unemployment, expensive education and healthcare, no subsidy on inputs and no MSP for the Farmers produce. None of the promises made to farmers were fulfilled by the Government, which were made to farmers based on which they suspended their 13 month long sit-in at borders facing all odds. The attack on the public sector and Govt departments for privatisation continues, no recruitments are made, outsourcing, contractorization and casualisation is rampant, the labour laws are being codified to favour the employers and against workers’ interests.

The groups and the forces who spread hatred for unhealthy divisive polarization, and the vigilante groups who indulge in violence, get tacit support from the powerful people in the ruling circles. These tactics, meant to divert the attention of the people from the issues of their livelihood, are dangerous as well as poisonous for the social fabric, unity and integrity of the country. Such a ruthless ruling regime is against national interest, does not have the right to occupy the seat of power and must be ousted said the Declaration adopted by the Convention.

The convention adopted a charter of demands and has called upon the following action programme in the coming days.

Nationwide Call of Action

Apart from working for the above demands, the Convention resolved to appeal to all the workers and farmers across the country to come forward and participate in the following joint and coordinated actions in the coming days:

  1. Observe 3rd October 2023 (Lakhimpur Kheri massacre of farmers in 2021) as Black Day, demanding dismissal and prosecution of the alleged conspirator, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni. 
  1. Organise Day and Night Mahapadav Struggle in front of the Raj Bhawans in the state Capitals of all the States and Union Territories, from 26 to 28 November 2023, (26 November 2020 had been the day of the All India General Strike by workers and the first day of the historic March to Parliament by farmers.) 
  1. December 2023/January 2024 - Determined and Massive United Protest Actions across the country. 

(The complete Declaration is attached).

The Platform of Central Trade Unions/Federations    &     Samyukta Kisan Morcha

 

Demands High level investigation and Compensation to the families of the deceased

The Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) deeply condoles the tragic death of 23 construction workers after the collapse of an under-construction railway bridge at Sairang, near Aizawl, capital of Mizoram on 23rd August, 2023.

The railway bridge that collapsed at around 10.00 am on Wednesday, was a part of the Bhairabi Sairang New Line Mizoram Railway Project, according to the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR). It was being constructed over the Kurung River and is positioned between the Bairabi and Sairang railway stations. The bridge’s pier stands at an impressive height of 104 meters. Around 40 workers, mostly migrant workers from Bengal were there at the time of this deadly incident.

At least 23 construction workers from Maldah district in West Bengal died on the spot following this dreadful incident. Soon after the news came, the CWFI leadership of Maldah district went to the villages of the deceased, met their family members, and extended heartfelt condolences. The CWFI is keeping in touch with Mizoram administrations and railways officials for speedy process of repatriation of bodies and early payment of compensations to the bereaved families. CWFI leadership of Mizoram rushed to the site and met with officials and rendered their help in the rescue operations.

While mourning and condoling the tragic loss of lives, CWFI also demands a thorough high-level judicial probe into the whole matter to fix accountability, and take appropriate action.

CWFI demands upon the governments at Centre and state adequate compensation and jobs to the families of the deceased.

Issued by,  
(U. P JOSEPH)
General Secretary

The Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) empathetically condemns the West Bengal Government for unleashing brutal police action on Comrade Ziaul Alam, General Secretary, All India Plantation Workers Federation of India, and other trade union leaders who were brutally manhandled by the police and arrested on 16th August, 2023.

West Bengal Government run by anti democratic corrupt TMC has been unleashing a series of vindictive coercive actions on opposition leaders and workers since its inception. On 16th August evening, TMC hoodlums tried to storm into CITU and other mass organisations office with an aim to terrify our comrades, that attack was vehemently resisted by our brave comrades. Soon after the incident, instead of arresting TMC ruffian, the Bengal Police pounced upon CITU leaders at the behest of the state government.  In a several video it was visible that police manhandled CITU leaders and started bodily lifting our comrades.

CWFI strongly condemns such police brutality and undemocratic coercive actions of west Bengal government which has become infamous for its habitual highhandedness and strong arm tactics to curb any kind of dissent or protest. Denouncing the arrest of Comrade Ziaul Alam, Plantation workers federation of India has been conducting a series of action programs throughout the plantation gardens in country. The plantation workers of Bengal with other section of working people are in a decisive struggle action demanding immediate unconditional release of Ziaul Alam and other comrades.

CWFI extends its class solidarity and whole hearted support to the plantation worker ongoing protest and demands upon the Bengal government for immediate unconditional release of Comrade Ziaul Alam and other leaders. CWFI calls upon all its affiliates and also members and affiliates of entire CITU fraternity to organize solidarity protest actions.

Issued By
U.P Joseph,
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) condemns the brutal police action on All India Plantation Workers Federation (AIPWF) General Secretary and CITU National Working Committee Member Comrade Ziaul Alam who was arrested in a heinous way on 16th August 2023 night, at Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.

In a nefariously conspired move, the Trinamool Congress goons attacked our Trade Union and other fraternal Mass Organisation offices at Jalpaiguri on 16th August 2023 evening. They planned to vandalise and loot our offices which were valiantly resisted by our trade union comrades along with students and youths. Many of our comrades were brutally attacked and injured, many are hospitalized.

Instead of arresting the culprits, the TMC led police force came heavily upon our comrades, manhandled and arrested 5 of our activists along with Comrade Ziaul Alam.

CITU condemns the notorious police action of West Bengal administration, which has mutilated all democratic scope and constitutional rights of people of Bengal. CITU demands that the West Bengal Police Administration should immediately release the leaders unconditionally and arrest the TMC Hooligans behind this barbarous act.

CITU calls upon all its constituents and fraternal federations to rise in rage and register their protest at every level against the barbarous attack on trade union leaders and democratic forces of West Bengal.

Release AIPWF General Secretary Ziaul Alam
Release our Leaders
Arrest TMC Hooligans
Stop brutal Police Raj and Restore Democracy in West Bengal

Issued by
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), a class oriented Trade Union Confederation and an affiliate of WFTU, representing more than 7 million Workers, extends international working class solidarity to the CGTP, another WFTU affiliate Trade Union Confederation of Peru which is spearheading their struggle demanding immediate reinstatement of former left leaning President Pedro Castillo and his pro people government.

Pedro Castillo, former President of Peru was ousted by a ‘soft coup’ instituted against him by the rightwing congressmen in Peruvian Parliament; the removal of Pedro Castillo was a sinister ploy of the rightwing pro-imperialist forces in the congress to advance the imperialist interests of US. The CGTP in their nationwide campaign and struggle is mobilizing to rally all the trade unions united to unleash a joint struggle against the US imperialist interventions in Peruvian polity and policy making. Strikingly, soon after the removal of Castillo, US started to send its naval ships to the ports of Peru.

The CGTP correctly believes that the first step would be the defunding and dismissing of notorious US project ‘National Endowment of Democracy’, which functions only to facilitate the strategic geo political interests of US. The NED has a significant amount of money to persuade opportunist’s yellow trade unions to support their imperialist aims.

CITU fully supports the struggles and campaign drive of CGTP to safeguard the sovereignty of their country as well as rights of the working class. CITU demands upon the current Peruvian government to stop indulging in US interests that would only jeopardize the geo political formations and interests of Latin America. While extending solidarity to the CGTP, CITU also calls upon its affiliates and members and also the fraternity of WFTU within the country and abroad to organize solidarity actions.

Issued By
Swadesh DevRoye
National Secretary & Head of International Affairs  

Tuesday, 15 August 2023 15:28

Homage to Comrade Panu Majumdar

Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) pays respectful homage to the legendary plantation leader Comrade Panu Majumdar who will be remembered long for his contribution towards the working class movement and the people of Tripura. Comrade Panu Majumdar passed away 14th August 2023 midnight at GBP Hospital of Tripura leaving behind his innumerable followers throughout the State. He was 86 at the time of demise.

Comrade Sudhamoy Majumder popularly known as Comrade Panu Majumdar worked among and organised the tea garden workers since 1970. He was a key organiser of Tripura State CITU right from its formation period. He devoted his life to the cause of emancipation of the working class. He was unmarried and spent his entire life with the tea workers.

While organising tea workers in struggle for rights and better livelihoods, he faced numerous challenges. Especially the threat of lock-out and closure always used to haunt the workers. In such an event, the criminal proprietor of the Durgabari Tea Garden turned the garden sick and left it with hundreds of workers to die in a critical condition. Comrade Panu Majumdar brought all the workers of that garden together, gave them guidance and hope and developed it as a cooperative tea garden. With his indomitable spirit, knowledge, hard work, comradely feelings and strong leadership with participatory model, Durgabari was converted as an International Model Cooperative Tea Garden and a sustainably high yielding and profitable one. The cooperative is still now running with excellence and the workers are getting significantly more returns out of it.

Comrade Panu Majumder was a member of All India Plantation Workers Federation. For a long time, he was a member of CITU All India General Council and the Vice President of Tripura CITU State Committee.

Comrade Panu Majumdar had an extraordinary quality to explain intricate things in a simple way. His endeavor and sacrifice gave an alternative to Durgabari and it will remain as a beacon in the history of workers’ participatory cooperative movement in India.

Long Live Comrade Panu Majumdar. Long Live Durgabari.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

 

Hundreds of workers, peasants and agricultural workers throughout the country came out on streets in solidarity with the people of Manipur at the call of Centre of Indian Trade Unions(CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agricultural Workers Union  (AIAWU). The joint call was given by CITU, AIKS and AIAWU on 15 July 2023, in solidarity with the people of Manipur demanding restoration of peace, disarmament of the people, facilities in the relief camps, and compensation to the damage to the properties of the people.

Later, the shocking videos of the brutal sexual violence against two Kuki women came in public shaking the conscience of the nation. In many places of the country, the workers, peasants and agricultural workers, women and people in general came out in protest against the sexual violence and rape of the women. Many of our units protested the criminal inaction by the BJP led state and central governments on Manipur issue and the selected silence of the Prime Minister of the country.

On 25 July, solidarity and protest actions were organised in most of the states at state and district headquarters, factory gates, workplaces and villages. Although the call was given by CITU, AIKS and AIAWU, in many states the central and state trade unions joined the programme. In Delhi state joint platform of trade unions organised a protest at Jantar Mantar along with AIKS and AIAWU. Leaders of all trade Unions including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, SEWA, LPF, MEC, ICTU spoke. A R Sindhu, Anurag Saxena, Virender Gaur, Gangeshwar Dutt Sharma(CITU), P Krishnaprasad, P Tyagi (AIKS) , V Sivadsan MP, Vikram Singh (AIAWU) addressed the gathering. A large number of farmers who are in a sit in protest in Greater Noida on their demands also joined the programme.

In almost all the states, the state government employees also joined the programme. A huge rally was held in Mizoram by the joint NGO coordination committee.

Left Class and mass organisations organised organised a march at the gate of Maniur Assembly today. Rally was addressed by AIKS leader Sarat Salam and CITU leader Kshetrimayum Santa. Around 300 people participated. They demanded restoration of peace and facilities in relief camps.

Programmes were held in AP, Bihar, Chhattisgarh,Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, HP, Jharrkhand, J&K, Karnataka, Kerala, MP, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajastahn, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, UP, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. In many places the people bunt the effigies of the central and state governments.

The protesters expressed their anger by the insensitive and sectarian reaction of the Prime Minister and other ministers and BJP leaders in such an hour of crisis of Manipuri people and their unity and the kind of barbarity and violence against women. Instead of rising to the occasion and call for unity, the BJP leaders including the Prime Minister is on blame game on timings of exposure etc which is condemnable. The protesters warned the people to be prepared to protect the unity among various sections, as the BJP- RSS combine will resort to such divisive and disastrous moves anywhere and everywhere to retain and capture political power, with the help of their corporate masters.

The response by the working class, agricultural workers and the peasantry and the people in general to the call for solidarity has once again proven that the unity of the basic classes and the people only can fight the communal and divisive forces and bring peace and amity in Manipur as well as other parts of the country.   

 Issued by         

Tapan Sen                                  Vijoo Krishnan                                  B Venkat

General Secretary                     General Secretary                             General Secretary

   CITU                                         AIKS                                                   AIAWU

 

The Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI) deeply mourns and expresses its condolences to the bereaved families of 17 construction workers who were killed after a girder machine collapsed on them during the third phase of construction on the Samruddhi Expressway in Maharashtra’s Thane district in the wee hours of August 1, 2023. The workers who died were mostly migrant workers.

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 Swiss company was given the outsourcing contract by Maharashtra State road Development Corporation.  It is also to be noted that, so far as many as 88 people have lost their lives in road accidents in last six months on the Samruddhi Expressway.

While mourning and condoling the tragic loss of lives, CWFI 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 would merely cover up the inhuman negligence and callousness of the government of the day. CWFI demands upon the Governments at Centre and state for adequate compensations and jobs to families of the diseased. CWFI once again reiterates its demand to stop privatisation in the name of contract for building, repair and maintenance and operation of public infrastructure. CWFI also demands public investments and state intervention in strengthening the public works departments.

Issued By,
P JOSEPH,
GENERAL SECRETARY

Monday, 26 June 2023 17:29

Homage to Comrade Shivshankar Singh

Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) pays respectful homage to Comrade Shivshankar Singh, veteran trade union leader from Bihar who passed away on 25th June 2023 after prolonged illness. He was 94.

After studies, Comrade Shivshankar Singh joined the government service in Bihar and joined the state government employees’ movement. He was one of the prominent leaders of the Non-Gazatted Employees Federation, Bihar. After retirement he dedicated his life organising the Beedi workers at his native place, Jamui. He was instrumental in building a very strong union of Beedi workers in Bihar of which he served as the General Secretary for a long period. He was also one of the office bearers of All India Beedi Workers’ Federation (CITU). Presently he was the Vice President of Bihar state committee of CITU.

 CITU expresses profound grief at his demise and conveys condolences to his family and comrades.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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