Super User

NITI Ayog has announced ‘big bang’ reform through anti-worker changes in labour laws and fast tracking privatisation or closure of 46 PSUs. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Ayog has categorically told that “They (the foreign investors) will have reasons to be happy” and the government will “build an inventory of government land that can be offered to foreign investors”. We must read this statement along with the statement by the US private Corporates asking the new Indian government to have ‘bold reforms’ including change in land and labour laws and e-commerce.

There is clear indication to the working class and the toiling people of India that the Modi -02 Government is going to vigorously follow the same policies which were opposed by the working class and the peasantry of the country.

Changes in labour laws are meticulously designed to impose conditions of slavery on the working people. Similarly privatisation of CPSUs shall lead to looting of national assets by the Government’s most favoured corporates and destruction of indigenous manufacturing capability of the national economy and setting the pace of deindustrialization.

Modi govt's big bang reform will put the lives and livelihoods of the mass of the people in disaster- the same people who gave the Modi Government a decisive mandate. The mission of NDA-02 Government is pay back to the "DONORS" both in country and abròad while forcibly looting the "VOTERS" - the people at large.

The disastrous anti-people and anti-national move of the Government must be opposed with full might of the united struggle of the mass of the workers led by the United Platform of Central Trade Unions and National Federations.

CITU calls upon its affiliated unions and the working class of the country to be prepared for bigger struggles to defend the hard earned rights and the sovereignty of the country.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

BEGINNING on 30 May 2019, CITU is going for a year long celebration of “100 years of struggles and sacrifices” of the working class of India, since the formation of the First Trade Union Centre, and “50 years of fight for unity of the working class” since the formation of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions.

Following are historical milestones of these working class struggles and sacrifices, till the formation of CITU, for the class and people’s cause, class unity, and developing class perspective and orientation. From the lessons of these struggles emerged CITU’s clarion call of “Unity and Struggle”. How, as the legacy of these working class struggles and sacrifices, CITU carried these forward and created historical milestones are dealt with separately.

EMERGENCE of the first Trade Union Centre in India has its own background of working class struggles and sacrifices. Class struggle is inherent in the very nature of the capitalist mode of production, remaining dormant among the working class, sometimes spontaneously bursting out in the given situation. The trade union organises, builds movements and leads them in an objective direction.

- There were several strikes and agitations in the last quarter of the nineteenth and more than one and a half of the first decades of twentieth century. Those were led by workers agitationist groups, welfare centres and mass of workers as trade unions led by individuals and philanthropists. These unions had no regular membership, constitution, organizational set up etc like those of the modern trade unions.

- But this period was also marked by the political consciousness of the Indian working class, developed along with the freedom struggle. In July 1908, when Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak was convicted and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on charges of ‘sedition’, “Bombay was shut down in protest,…workers of all textile mills and railway workshops went on strike, army was called out,…16 workers lay dead in the streets with nearly 50 others seriously injured,” wrote historian Bipan Chandra in India’s Struggle for Independence.

On this, BTR writes (The Marxist, October-December 1985), “The workers were being drawn into the national protest against British tyranny. This happened in 1908 when Lokmanya Tilak was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. The workers went on a one-day strike for every year of the sentence. They clashed with the police and the British army. Several were killed. Their resistance galvanised the entire city of Bombay and drew into action small businessmen and the middle classes. This was the first time that the working class used the powerful weapon strike in all industries for a political purpose and revealed its efficacy as the general mobiliser of the people.”

It was with this vision that Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) was founded in 1970. The yearlong Golden Jubilee celebrations of CITU will start on its Foundation Day this year, on 30th May.

This vision was clearly spelt out in the Constitution of CITU thus: ‘The CITU believes that the exploitation of the working class can be ended only by socialising all means of production, distribution and exchange and establishing a Socialist State. Holding fast the ideals of socialism, the CITU stands for the complete emancipation of the society from all exploitation’.

Further, ‘It firmly adheres to the position that no transformation can be brought about without class struggle and shall constantly repel attempts to take the working class along the path of class collaboration’. 

This vision stood the test of time. Fifty years of experience has further strengthened CITU’s determination to carry forward this vision to achieve its Constitutional objectives.

CITU was born at a time when the working class of the country was simmering with discontent and anger at the growing attacks on their working and living conditions. Closures, job losses, increasing contractorisation, denial of collective bargaining rights, social security benefits etc resulted in outbursts of struggles and strikes in different sectors in different parts of the country. Jute workers, coal workers, steel workers, textile workers, transport workers and hundreds of thousands of workers in various other industries, were all on the struggle path.

The need of the hour was to unite all the workers in each sector, to unite all the workers in all sectors into a common united struggle against these attacks, against the policies of the then government, against the exploitative policy regime. The need of the hour was to unite the entire trade union movement to build a powerful class struggle against these attacks as well as the policies.

But the then leadership of the dominant Left trade union, AITUC chose, not the path of class struggle but the path of class collaboration in the name of the ‘two pillar policy’. The very idea of class struggle was sought to be ridiculed. The section of leadership within the AITUC that favoured class unity and class struggle was harassed, victimised and undemocratically and unceremoniously removed from leadership positions, from the unions. The unions that supported class struggle were denied affiliation; their affiliations were cancelled.

After all the efforts through a period of around ten years to steer the organisation away from the path of class collaboration and compromise with the ruling classes failed, the need to form a new trade union centre to bring the trade union movement of the country into the track of united struggles against the government policies was strongly felt. CITU was born with the thunderous slogan ‘Unity and Struggle’.

BT Ranadive was elected the first president and P Ramamurty, the first general secretary.

Soon after its formation, CITU, through its actions gave a befitting reply to all those who sought to isolate it and ridiculed its slogan of ‘unity’.

¨  Soon after CITU’s formation, in an attempt to isolate it, the National Council of Trade Unions (NCTU) was formed with INTUC, AITUC and HMS at the initiative the then Union Labour Minister, to support government policies. CITU effectively countered it by bringing the other trade union centres and industrial federation together to form the United Council of Trade Unions (UCTU) to fight against the government policies like wage freeze, compulsory deposit scheme etc

¨  The isolationist strategy of the ruling classes through could not be sustained for long in the face of vigorous efforts by CITU to unite the other forces both in industries and services to carry on united struggles. Within three years NCTU collapsed. New correlation started developing within the country’s trade union movement through CITU’s consistent fight against class collaborationist policies.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses serious concern at the recent developments and actions by the Apex Court following the complaint by a former woman employee of the Supreme Court against the Chief Justice of India.

CITU feels that the procedures required as per the POSH (Sexual Harassment At Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 have not been followed in letter and spirit in the case.

First of all, the highest forum of judiciary does not have an ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) as mandated by the Act. The procedure for dealing with a case of sexual harassment, particularly when it concerns someone in a high public position, needs to be credible and transparent. It is regrettable that this did not happen in this case.

The ‘In house Committee’ set up by the Apex court was not in accordance with the law. It did not have an independent outside representative of any NGO.  This was pointed out by several women’s organisations, legal rights groups, and lawyers’ forums. The request of the complainant to allow her lawyer or a support person to be present was also turned down. Even after her withdrawal from the proceedings alleging unfair and intimidating behaviour, the committee went ahead and gave its finding that there was ‘no substance’ in the complaint. Surprisingly, the complainant was not even given a copy of the report of the “In-House Committee” which exonerated the CJI while the CJI was sent a copy.

CITU affirms that it is necessary that the Supreme Court uphold the principles of transparency, ethics and values to ensure delivery of justice to the weakest sections in our democracy, as envisaged by our constitution, and to prevent erosion of the judiciary’s credibility. The Supreme Court of India must uphold the guidelines of the Vishakha judgment and the POSH Act on sexual harassment at workplace even in the case of a Supreme Court Judge.  

CITU demands that appropriate laws and guidelines must be enacted against sexual harassment to include all workplaces including judiciary and legislature and all persons in its purview to ensure justice to all victims.

Issued by: 
A R Sindhu

Centre of Indian Trade Union expresses its deep sorrow at the shocking demise of Comrade N Venkateswarlu (Kiran), General Secretary of Telengana United Electricity Employees Union and Office Bearer of EEFI. He breathed his last on early hours of 7th May 2019 in a hospital in Hyderabad after fighting cancer for the last one year.

Comrade N Venkateswarlu known as Kiran joined Kothagudem Thermal Power Station (KTPS) in 1990 as a boulder breaker in Coal plant. Soon he joined CITU Affiliated UEEU. He became one of the Office bearers of TSUEEU in 1998 and later became the General Secretary in 2008. He was one of the key leaders of the contract labour regularisation struggle in 2006 as well in 2016. He concurrently became a leader of Electricity workers as well a highly skilled workers of APSEB. He was elected as National Office Bearer of EEFI from 7th conference and re-elected in 8th conference. He was a member of CITU National General Council. His struggling spirit was laudable and it made him natural leader of the workers.

His untimely death is a big loss to the CITU especially CITU Telengana and EEFI.

CITU Secretariat expresses its deepest condolences to all his comrades and family members.

Issued by
A R Sindhu
For CITU Secretariat 

Shri Chandra Kishore Mishra,
The Secretary to Govt of India
 Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,
Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, Ali Ganj, Jorbagh Road,
New Delhi, Delhi 110003

Re:      Total Ban on new Red Clay Brick Kiln; & Forcibly converting the existing Red Clay Brick Kiln to Coal Ash Brick Kiln
Ref:     G.S.R. 157(E) dated 25th February, 2019

Dear Sir, 

On the above referred subject, on behalf my organisation – The Centre of Indian Trade Unions, I draw your urgent attention to the following: 

  1. I raise serious objection on your issuing this notification just on the eve of 17thLok Sabha election (Election) and asking public opinion during the ongoing election process. Accepting this being an important issue of public interest, not being a routine one, and, hence, soliciting public opinion; the present outgoing Union Government has no right to take any action on this during the ongoing process of Election and till the next Government takes over.   I, therefore, with abundant caution, requesting you to not take any further Executive action on this notification.
  1. By endorsing a copy of this letter to the Election Commission of India (ECI), I am also requesting the ECI to issue notice to you in this regard.
  1. I suspect that this notification was issued, just before the Election, to favour the coal and lignite based private power companies, mainly the Adani Power Limited of Adanis and the Reliance Power Limited of Ambanis; vitiating the entire Election process.
  1. The above referred intended notification of putting a total ban on new Red Clay Kiln and converting the existing ones to Coal Ash Brick Kilns within 300 KMs radius of all Coal and Lignite based Power Plants; will lead to jobloss of lakhs of unorganised sector brick kiln workers and will have devastating effect on the economy, after the ill effect of demonetisation and GST.
  1. Unfortunately, your ministry, in its hurry, has ignored the question of job-losses of such huge number of most under-privileged  brick kiln workers due to Government’s notification and, hence,  neither has taken the Department of Labour and Employment of the Government nor the recognised Central Trade Unions, including the one that I represent, on board for consultation before issuing such notification.
  1. The intended notification proposes implementation of such vital issues of Ban on Red Clay brick Kiln and conversion of the existing ones to Coal Ash Brick Kilns through Executive order just by amending two decades old S.O. 763(E) dated 14thSeptember, 1999; bypassing the Parliament and necessary amendment in Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  1. The notification also makes the State Governments and the District Magistrates, under them, directly responsible for implementation of such decisions. Yet, the matter was never even discussed with the State Governments giving a direct blow in Centre-State relations.

Under the above circumstances, I once again urge you not to please operationalise the above referred intended notification.
With regards,
Yours sincerely
(Tapan Sen)
General Secretary

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions expresses its solidarity to call given by All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) to boycott of Lays and other potato products of PepsiCo till the vindictive cases against potato farmers of Gujarat are withdrawn.

The PepsiCo filed a case in Ahmedabad High Court against some small potato farmers of Gujarat alleging cultivation of a particular variety of potato which the MNC considers prejudicial to their interest and lodged a claim of Rs 1.05 crore to be paid by those concerned farmers for such cultivation. The case by PepsiCo is an arrogant violation of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Rights Act 2001 which clearly mention the right of the farmers to "save, use, sow, re-sow, exchange, share or sell his farm produce including seed of a variety" so long as he does not sell branded seed, as argued by AIKS.

The AIKS has already asserted in its statement dated 25th April 2019 that “AlKS along with other peasant organisations has already approached Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPV&FRA) asking for urgent intervention. This is a test case of the corporate exploitation of farmers under the WTO regime. Previous central governments led by both Congress(I) and BJP are responsible for completely surrendering the rights of the peasantry and the nation in favour of corporates. Both the parties must clarify their stand in this case.”

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions while joining wholeheartedly the farmers’ organizations including AIKS in denouncing the vindictive action of the Multinational Corporations like PepsiCo in abrogating the farmers’ right to produce and choose to produce in an independent country in patent abuse of the so called WTO rules and the shameful lukewarm and indulgent attitude of the Modi Govt towards the MNCs exploiting the Indian Farmers, calls upon the working class to firmly stand by farmers demands in solidarity.

CITU upholds the AIKS call to people for boycotting the “Lay” potato chips and other potato products of PepsiCo in this matter and calls upon the working class and their trade unions to actively organize such boycott throughout the country in coordination and collaboration with AIKS activists till the central govt intervenes and compels the PepsiCo to withdraw the case against the potato farmers of Gujarat.   

Issued by
( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

Wednesday, 24 April 2019 15:01


On this May Day, the Day of International Solidarity of the Working Class, CITU

Extends warm fraternal greetings to all working people across the world

Stands in solidarity with their struggles to defend their hard won rights from the dogged onslaught of neoliberalism, particularly in the aftermath of the systemic global crisis of capitalism, which continues even after more than a decade.

On this May Day, CITU

Condemns in strongest terms the imperialist led interventions, sabotage activities, attacks and wars in Venezuela, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and other countries; Extends its solidarity to the people and all progressive forces in these countries fighting US imperialist machinations; Deplores Israeli attempts, with open connivance of US imperialism to annexe Palestine territories; demands recognition of independent sovereign state of Palestine with 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.

Reiterates firmly that fight against imperialism is an integral part of the class struggle to defeat the exploitative capitalist system and usher in exploitation free socialist system, to which CITU is firmly committed

Stands with the people in socialist countries defending socialism and their right to independently and freely choose the social system of their choice without any external interference or aggression;

In particular, reaffirms its solidarity with the struggle of socialist Cuba against US imperialist machinations and demands withdrawal of illegitimate sanctions imposed on them.

Raises its serious alarm at the rise in the Right wing, Regressive, Reactionary, Racist, Neo-fascist-and Terrorist forces in different parts of the world, being promoted by international finance and the corporate class to divide people and disrupt united struggles against neoliberalism; Stands in rock solidarity with all peoples across the world fighting these forces which offer no alternative to neoliberalism but utilise people’s discontent to divert it into fratricidal fights to serve their corporate masters; Calls upon the working class and the toiling people across the world to identify and isolate these enemies of the people and protect people’s unity with all their might

Congratulates the workers across the world, including in developed countries who have been increasingly joining struggles against the so called ‘austerity policies’, to protect their rights, wages and working and living conditions; Heartily congratulates the working class of India for the magnificent two days’ strike, the 18th countrywide general strike since the advent of neoliberal policies in the country, on 8-9 January 2019; extends its gratitude to the peasants, agricultural workers and all sections of progressive people who have extended their solidarity to the strike; many other sections of workers including in defence-production, telecom etc who went on three days’ strike; extends solidarity to the struggling workers in many units of multinational corporations like Daikin, Toyoda, Yamaha, Pricol, etc in various parts of the country


Responding to the united call of CITU, AIKS and AIAWU; countrywide campaign; and following the 9 August united action of Jail Bharo; lakhs of workers, peasants and agricultural workers, men and women, poured in the national capital, New Delhi, from all parts of the country, from almost all states and union territories; despite rains, floods and huge sufferings; by all available transports; to join the historic Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally in front of the Parliament; and to submit a workers, peasants, agricultural workers, unemployed youths and the people’s 15 point charter of demands for basic needs and rights; and also to give a clear message to Modi government of the gathering storm of people’s anger which will rest only after uprooting this government of aggressive neoliberal policies with divisive agenda; and to carry future struggle for a New India for the People of India.

Estimated around 20 crores of workers in all sectors and in all states and union territories in the country joined the 2 days nationwide workers general strike on 8-9 January, 2019 in response to the joint call of 10 central trade unions – CITU, INTUC, AITUC, HMS, AIUTUC, AICCTU, TUCC, UTUC, SEWA and LPF; and of almost all independent national federations of all sectors of employees. Only exception was RSS-affiliated BMS, which deserted the trade unions’ joint platform just on the eve of first general strike on 2 September 2015 after BJP assumed power at the Centre. However, their workers in large number joined 8-9 January strike in several sectors in different parts of the country. 

Page 33 of 62