Super User
Friday, 24 April 2020 10:55

2020 March

Friday, 24 April 2020 10:49

2020 February

Friday, 24 April 2020 10:38

2020 April

Friday, 24 April 2020 10:35

2020 March

Friday, 24 April 2020 10:19

2020 February

Friday, 24 April 2020 10:02

MAY DAY MANIFESTO 2020

On this Day of International Working Class Solidarity, May Day 2020,

In the midst of the Corona virus pandemic - One of the worst tragedies that struck humanity in a century,

Leading to an impending economic crisis predicted to be the worst since the World War II,

CITU

Expresses its heartfelt gratitude and class pride at the invaluable services being rendered by -

All the front line health workers, the doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, the sanitation workers and all other workers across the globe, risking their lives to safeguard the lives of others

Extends solidarity to

The working class, who kept the wheels of society running during the lockdown imposed in countries across the world by maintaining the essential services - water, electricity, transport, communication, financial services, milk, groceries, vegetables, medicines, etc to sustain life for the hundreds of millions of people under the lockdown in many countries, braving huge personal difficulties and sufferings

All the peasants and agricultural workers who continue to feed the world,

And all the workers and other toiling people, the unsung heroes and heroines who are the real ‘wealth creators’, the unseen powers that propel the world

CITU

Deeply condoles the families of the millions of people across the world who lost their dear ones to the Covid -19 pandemic

Stands in solidarity with

The hundreds of millions who suffer from the disease and many of whom are also stigmatised by sections of society, for no fault of theirs, and

The many other hundreds of millions who live in anxiety and fear –

Anxiety and fear not only of the virus but

Anxiety of the future of those who have already lost their jobs and sources of livelihood

Anxiety of many more who fear losing their jobs and source of livelihood, tomorrow if not today

On this May Day, CITU

Asserts that the only way to overcome the present crisis due to the Covid -19 pandemic as well as the already existing global economic crisis, is for the workers and all sections of toiling people to Unite; unite by demolishing the walls being built between them in the name of religion, race, region, caste, ethnicity, language, gender etc; Unite as human beings to protect our lives, livelihoods and the earth and environment that sustain our lives and livelihoods

The Covid -19 pandemic has stripped naked the inhuman and barbaric nature of the society that we live in today - the capitalist system and its neoliberal avatar

The challenge that the novel Corona virus, an invisible micro organism, has thrown before humanity in this twenty first century, requires a united fight to protect lives, to mobilise the entire world’s scientific and technological knowledge, financial resources, pool all our human strength to fight and defeat it.

Instead, what we see today is the most hideous and repulsive face of the capitalist system.

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions denounces the Central Govt’s decision to freeze, rather confiscate the increase in Dearness Allowance payable to Central Govt employees and pensioners falling due from January 2020 and also future dues, falling due on July 2020 and January 2021 on the plea of financial crisis arising out of COVID 19 vide Finance Ministry Order no 1/1/2020-E-II(B) dated 23rd April 2020.

No doubt, the country has been passing through a financial crisis but why should the workers and employees be made the sacrificial item for the same who themselves suffer most owing to Covid-19 followed by lockdown. Quite a number of employees are deployed and consequently are involved in various governmental activities and services meant to combat the spread of the pandemic  Covid-19 especially of those departments declared as emergency services viz, health, postal, defence, railways etc. While taking such decision Govt did not bother to consult the unions and federations of the central govt employees, displaying rabid authoritarianism.

CITU strongly urges that response to financial crisis by the central govt must start with measures to garner resources where it is there aplenty at the disposal of handful of ultra rich class. As Per OXFAM Report, combined wealth amassed by only 63 billionaires in India is more that the total Union Budget in 2018-19 which was at Rs 24, 42, 200 crore. Top 10% of population cornered 77% of national wealth. Wealth of India’s richest 1 per cent is 4 times more than the bottom 70%. Govt must tap this huge accumulation of wealth with barely 5% of ultra-rich, amassed mostly through undue and illegitimate patronization of the economic policy regime, through appropriate direct taxation/wealth tax measures instead of brutally pouncing on the working peoples’ earnings and livelihood. And this right is vested with the Central Govt only

CITU strongly condemns this retrograde decision of the Central Govt to confiscate outright the legitimate dues of the employees and pensioners on account of increase in DA till January 2021, although prices of all essentials will continue to increase to further increase the profit of the big-business/corporate.

CITU demands withdrawal of this DA Confiscation order by the central government, also demands that the state governments be extended financial help to enable continuity of variable DA payment to their employees. CITU calls upon the Govt employees’ movement in particular and the trade union movement in general to unitedly oppose this retrograde anti-worker measures.

(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

CITU congratulates people all over the country for observing all India Protest Day on 21st April 2020 by strictly following the physical distancing and other guidelines issued by the government to contain the corona virus. People across the country had one important message for the Prime Minister – ‘We Have Heard Enough. Now, Please Hear Us’

Tens of thousands of workers and other toiling people stood up at thousands of locations covering all the districts of the country and in many subdivisions and villages - in front of their homes, on their balconies or roof tops, work places,  placards and flags in hands, maintaining physical distance and shouting slogans for 5-10 minutes on 21st April 2020 at 10.30 in the morning. In several places it was a single person standing in front of her/ his home holding a hand written placard, in many along with their family members including children and in still many more people stood in scores displaying placards and shouting slogans. Migrant workers, stranded away from home, without proper shelter and regular food stood up with their demands written on pieces of paper. The fact that it was observed in all states from Jammu & Kashmir to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, from Gujarat to Assam indicates that the slogans resonated with the feelings of the people. In Tripura, even though preparations were made, the state government prevented it from being observed even from within the compounds. The CITU state committee strongly condemned the government notification and wrote a letter to the Prime Minister.  

The one common slogan that resounded across the country was ‘Bhashan nahin; ration chahiye; vetan chahiye; arthik sahayata chahiye’ (Enough of hollow speeches; Give us food; wages and financial assistance). The slogan spread like wild fire across the country in less than a day.

The call given by CITU was supported by All India Kisan Sabha, All India Agricultural Workers’ Union, All India Democratic Women’s Association, Democratic Youth Federation of India, Students Federation of India, Dalit Soshan Mukti Manch, Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch and National Platform for the Rights of Disabled. Several unions of middle class employees and in some states, state committees of some central trade unions also supported and joined the call.

The programme was observed in collieries, tea gardens, construction sites, in the townships of public sector units like steel, workers’ colonies, in places where large numbers of unorganised sector workers stay, as well as at the factories and work places where they are open. Safai karmacharis, ASHAs, anganwadi employees, and others joined in thousands of places. The peasants and agricultural workers as well as the scheme workers participated in the villages. In some places, memoranda were submitted to the local authorities.

In Maharashtra, MH Sheikh, general secretary of CITU state committee and in Gautam Budha Nagar, Gangeshwar, vice president of Delhi NCR state committee, and eight activists in Behala, Kolkata were arrested.

While condemning these arrests and the high handed attitude of the administration in Tripura, CITU called upon the people to be united and prepared for stronger actions in the coming days as the situation improves, if the government continues with its apathy to the poor while showering bonanzas over the big corporates and business houses.

Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The government has extended the country wide lockdown to 3rd May 2020. Announcing the extension, the Prime Minister has given seven advices to the people. But there is not one sentence about the measures that his government proposes to take to provide relief to the tens of millions of workers who have lost their only source of income and are starving with their families. They are not in a position to put into practice the Prime Minister’s advice to take care of their old family members. They are not in a position to feed them. The Prime Minister has no advice for them about what they should do. 

It is the workers, particularly the unorganised workers, the contract and casual workers, the NEEM workers, apprentices, trainees etc in the organised sector, the migrant workers including the construction, brick kiln etc workers, the workers in micro and small enterprises, the domestic workers, the small peasants and agricultural workers etc who are bearing the brunt of the lockdown due to the corona virus pandemic. The journalists, IT/ITES employees and permanent workers in the organised sector are also not spared. Every day cases of closure, retrenchments and wage cuts of workers, not only in the private sector, organised and unorganised but also from public sector companies to corporate media houses are pouring in. It was already the workers who were the worst affected by the economic slowdown that existed even before the corona virus struck.  Even 27 days after the lockdown, most of the migrant workers stranded at different places, far from their homes, are facing hunger; they don’t know where their food for the day will come from, if at all. Nearly 200 people died of starvation, exhaustion and other causes while trying to reach their homes on foot.

The suicide of Mukesh, a migrant worker living in a slum cluster in Gurugaon, a few kilometres from the national capital on 16th April reveals the severe plight of tens of millions of migrant workers in our country. Having lost his work as a painter two months ago and having no work to do since the lockdown, exhausting all his meagre savings, he sold his only possession which could fetch some money – his cell phone, for Rs 2500. He bought some flour, rice, sugar and a table fan for his children to survive the summer heat, gave the rest of money to his wife, went inside his shanty and hanged himself. His neighbours, all migrant workers, said that they were not getting food every day. As they had no ration cards, they were not getting any ration.

The capitalist class, the big corporates and business people, are keeping to their houses, trying new recipes and enjoying with their families whereas crores of workers who create wealth, who run the wheels of society have lost their work, have no place to stay, and are starving; those whose services to the society are indispensable are made to work without any protective gear, risking their lives. Doctors, nurses and other health workers are getting infected by Covid19 and even hospitals have to be closed. The frontline workers and cleaning workers are not even provided masks.

To
The Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

Sub: Termination of employment and nonpayment of wages to Media employees during Lockdown period

Dear Prime Minister Sir,

In your repeated addresses to Nation, you have appealed the entire people to unitedly combat the Corona Pandemic in the country. You have also appealed to also ensure that nobody’s employment is terminated or wage cut is imposed owing to compulsion of lockdown. Accordingly the Union Labour Secretary and Union Home Secretary have issued directive/advisory in the context of invoking of National Disaster Management Act to all concerned not to terminate employment and ensure full payment of wages to all workers including contractual and casual workers vide their communication dated 20th March and 29th March 2020 respectively. But despite that, massive retrenchment has taken place and in many industries wage cut is also taking place. We have drawn attention of the Union Labour Secretary, and Labour Commissioners of different states on all such specific cases of terminations and nonpayment of wages requesting corrective enforceable intervention from their ends. But no result is visible as yet reducing the directives of your Govt ineffective.

Now I draw your attention the incidents of termination of employment and nonpayment of wages in the media sector, both electronic and print, although the media workers including the journalists mostly were on work during the lockdown period to keep the nation informed of all development and also to propagate the messages you sought to give to the nation through your repeated addresses.

As per reports received by us till date…….

Indian Express and Business Standard have asked the staff to accept salary-cuts; Times of India has sacked the entire Sunday Magazine team; News Nation terminated 16 digital-section employees; about half of the Quint contingent has been forced to go on leave without pay; India Today has shortlisted a team of 46 reporters, 6 cameraman and 17 producers for removal from service; ET Panache and Bombay Times are set to merge and in this process 50 per cent of the PNACHE employees are being terminated; Hindustan Times Marathi are removing the entire contingent as it is going to be closed; Urdu paper Nayi Duniya and Evening Star of Mysore and the Outlook Magazine stopped their print publication.

Above situation along with ongoing termination of employment and nonpayment of wages clearly reveals that mere appeal to the employers’ class or official advisories are not enough to address the phenomenon of violating the directive/advisories/appeal relating to the workers by the employers; because lust for profit does not have any conscience. What is required is a strong statutorily enforceable measure to put a ban on all terminations and wage cut and such measure is  actually warranted to address the kind of national disaster the country is facing.

I urge upon you to please intervene so that concrete measures are taken to put the directives/advisories of your own Govt on the above issue for execution. With regards,

Yours sincerely,
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

Page 17 of 57