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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 08:02

CITU Condemns Murder of Gauri Lankesh

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) strongly condemns the brutal murder of noted journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh in front of her residence in Bengaluru yesterday. She was a critic of the communal forces of RSS.

This murder is the latest in the series of murders of rationalists like Govind Pansare, Narendra Dhabolkar and M.M. Kalburgi by these communal divisive forces to create terror against criticism of the Hindutva communal forces and among minorities.
CITU conveys its condolences to her family and colleagues. CITU demands of the Government of Karnataka to immediately arrest the culprits and unearth the conspiracy to silence the voices of reason.
CITU calls upon its members and the working class of the country to protest against this heinous crime and attack on secularism.

Issued by
A R Sindhu

CITU welcomes the majority judgment of the Supreme Court on the talaq e bidat type of triple Talaq. The Supreme Court pointed out that talaq e bidat type of triple talaq was arbitrary and was not intrinsic to Koranic tenets. The judgment is a step forward in the struggle for the rights of women.

This is a victory for the decades’ long struggle against the instant and arbitrary form of divorce through the talaq e bidat. Many Muslim women and democratic women’s organisations have played the leading role in this struggle. Many countries with Muslim majority populations do not have this practice.

CITU believes that this judgment will strengthen women’s struggle for their rights and for reform of personal laws of all communities to suit the present situation.

Issued by
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

The Working Committee meeting of CITU, being held on 14-16 July 2017 at Shimla notes with serious concern the grievous impact of the GST launched by the Govt of India with much fanfare on 1st July 2017. The GST has adversely impacted the common people at large, particularly the workers in the unorganised sector, people engaged in small and decentralised manufacturing like tailoring, garments, textile, beedi, small drug manufacturing, construction, matches & fireworks and passenger & goods transport etc and also small traders. Even the insurance premium is not spared from high taxation. Normal activities in many of these sectors have been affected and/or collapsed leading to massive job losses. Tens of thousands of people, including traders and small manufacturers are coming out in spontaneous protests countrywide to voice their opposition to GST regime that threatens the viability of their occupations pushing them to virtual collapse. CITU members and cadres all over the country have joined the surging protest actions in a big way demanding relief and protection of employment.

The Working Committee of CITU notes the negative impact of the GST regime on small manufacturers, traders and the lakhs of workers employed in these establishments and fully appreciates the participation of the CITU cadres in the protests to express their anger and disapproval of the pro-corporate GST regime. The GST regime has also resulted in enormously higher burden of taxation on many essential commodities including medicines, making them costlier. It has imposed heavier burden on the mass of the people. This calls the bluff on the loud claims of the Govt that GST will result in reduction of prices. The GST regime has also subsumed the welfare related cess on non-coal mining, beedi, cine-sector etc, thereby taking away the welfare/social security related rights of the workers in concerned sector.

CITU also notes with serious concern the serious implication of the GST regime in severely undermining the federal structure of the Constitution, ultimately abrogating substantially the taxation related rights of the state governments. It makes the state governments more dependent on the central government in respect of resource generation and management. This is going to have serious adverse impact on the democratic set-up owing to greater concentration of resources and power with the central govt, promoting authoritarian trends.
CITU demands that the already heavy burden of indirect tax on the common people should not be allowed to cross the pre-GST levels. Instead, it must be lowered substantially on all essential commodities and it should be zero on all essential medicines. The cess-funded welfare benefits for the workers of beedi, mining, cine and other sectors should continue unhindered. At the same time, in the context of the post-GST impact on the people and various sectors of the economy, the GST regime warrants a thorough review and reconsideration.

The working committee of CITU calls upon the working class and CITU unions in particular to extend full solidarity to the emerging protests against the GST regime and its disastrous impact on workers and small traders/manufacturers. It calls upon all its committees to actively intervene in channelizing the anger and unrest among the people in different parts of the country into struggles against the anti-people and anti-worker and pro-corporate policies of the government.


The Centre of Indian Trade Unions congratulates the tea garden workers of West Bengal for successful two-day strike action demanding enhancement and implementation of Statutory Minimum Wage. The strike was called by the united platform of Tea Garden workers in West Bengal, after the TMC-run Govt of West Bengal backtracked from its commitment for a negotiated settlement on enhancement of statutory minimum wage for the tea garden workers, as per dictate of the tea garden owners.

The strike was almost total on both the days in almost all the 300 tea gardens in the state spread-over three districts viz., Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Aliporeduar.

The TMC Govt in West Bengal took it as their prestige issue to break the strike at the dictate of the tea garden owners and unleashed brutal repression through its police machinery to break the strike, including chasing and hounding the workers in their colonies and drag them to their place of work in many gardens. But owing to united and determined resistance by the workers, police force failed to break the strike and in despair, unleashed brutal lathi-charge without provocation on the striking workers procession and mobilizations on both the days of strike, severely injuring many including a large number of women workers. Mass scale arrests of striking workers also took place and charges on non-bailable section was inflicted upon them. But in a number of cases, the militant demonstration by the workers enmasse before many police stations in the tea garden area, local police was compelled to release many of the arrested workers.

CITU condemns such barbaric assault and repression on the peaceful strike action by the tea-garden workers by the TMC Govt in the state at the behest of the tea garden owners. The State Govt never bothered when the tea garden workers were in the midst of starvation owing to unlawful closure of many tea gardens, illegal shut-down of production etc leading to hundreds of starvation deaths. But when the workers and their unions closed their ranks to fight back the profit hungry garden owners, the TMC Govt, instead of taking action against the garden owners for their habitual unlawfull activities, pounced upon brutally on the workers demanding proper wages. This exposes the brazenly anti-worker approach of the state govt acting virtually as agents of garden-owners.

CITU denounces such anti-worker policies of the Govt and salutes the heroic resistance by the garden workers at every stage, which is no doubt inspiring for the entire working class movement.

( Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

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