An all India Convention of Workers was held on 8 August 2017, at Talkatora Indoor Stadium, New Delhi. The Convention was jointly organised by AITUC, CITU, INTUC, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF. More than 6000 delegates from different federations of workers and employees from the defence plants, steel plants, coal mines, railways, banks, insurance, and many other sectors of the economy participated in the Convention. A delegation of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee actively participated in the Convention.
|Trade Union leaders addressing the workers in the
All India Convention of workers
|A view of the All India Convention of workers
in Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi
The Convention was addressed by Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy, President INTUC, Com. Amarjeet Kaur, Secretary AITUC, Com. Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, General Secretary HMS, Com. Tapan Sen, General Secretary CITU, Com. Shankar Saha, Secretary AIUTUC, Com. Rajiv Dimari, General Secretary AICCTU, Com. Manali, General Secretary SEWA, Com. M. Shanmugam, General Secretary LPF and Com. N.K. Premchandran, Member Working Committee-UTUC.
Addressing the workers, the speakers resolved to step up the struggle against the anti-worker, anti-people attacks of the ruling class. They expressed their determination to strengthen the unity of the working people by defeating the diabolical attempts of the rulers to divide people along narrow sectarian lines and disturb social harmony and peace. They pledged to work to keep the unity of working class and its trade unions intact. They resolved to build and strengthen the unity and solidarity of the working class with the farmers and other fighting sections of society.
The speakers strongly condemned the free hand being given to the biggest Indian and foreign monopoly capitalist houses to plunder the land, labour and natural resources of our people, to reap fabulous profits. They condemned the changes being brought about in labour laws to facilitate the intensified exploitation of the workers. They resolved to step up the struggle against this.
The Convention also expressed solidarity with the indefinite hunger strike for rehabilitation of all those affected adversely by the Sardar Sarovar Project.
As part of the immediate action plan, it was decided at the convention that a three-day Padav program will be held on 9th-10th – 11th November, 2017 at Parliament with massive mobilization on all the three days. This will be preceded by state/district, and industrial conventions. It was also decided to prepare for an indefinite countrywide strike to resist, fight back and reverse the anti-worker, anti-people policies of the government, following the November 9-10-11 padav program at Parliament.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India calls upon all working class activists to strengthen the fighting unity of the class in the course of stepping up the struggle against the anti-worker, anti-people attacks of the ruling class.
Excerpts from the Declaration adopted by the All India Convention of workers
The all India Convention of Workers … expresses serious concern over the deteriorating situation in the national economy due to the pro-corporate, anti-national and anti-people policies … grievously impacting the livelihood of the working people across the country.
The Convention notes that the Government has been continuing to arrogantly ignore the 12-point Charter of Demands on minimum wage, social security, workers’ status and pay and facilities for the scheme workers, against privatization and mass scale contractorisation, etc., being jointly pursued by the entire trade union movement of the country. Despite numerous nationwide joint strike actions, the most prominent being those of 2nd September 2015 and 2nd September 2016, participated by crores of workers against the policies of the Governments, the ruling regime at the centre has been increasing its onslaught on the rights and livelihood of the working people of the country. Both the organized as well as unorganized sectors are victims alike.
Unemployment situation is getting aggravated with employment generation practically turned negative even in the most labour intensive sectors. The phenomenon of closure and shut-down of industries and the forecast of huge job-loss in the IT sector is adding fuel to the fire. Price-rise of essential commodities including public transport, electricity, medicines etc. is mounting pressure on daily life of the people in general … Hasty implementation of GST has added fuel to fire. Drastic cut in Government expenditure in social sector and various welfare schemes has made the conditions of workers, particularly those in unorganized sector more precarious.
The anti-labour authoritarian character of the government is evident in their refusal to implement recommendations of the successive Indian Labour Conferences in respect of equal pay and benefits for equal work for the contract workers, formulation of minimum wage on the norms agreed by 15th ILC/Supreme Court Judgment and workers status for the scheme workers viz., Anganwadi, Mid-Day-Meal and ASHA etc.. Government is refusing to implement the recent Judgments of the Supreme Court … on “equal wage and benefits for the same work” and on EPS, 1995 on contribution and calculation of pension on actual pay and dearness allowance.
… The latest onslaught is the move to evolve a ’Social Security Code’ by dismantling and demolishing the existing statutory Social Security infrastructure under Employees Provident Fund Organization, Coal Mines Provident Fund and Employees State Insurance Corporation and many other welfare statutes, abolition of welfare related cess, and by usurping the huge social security fund subscribed by the workers amounting to more than Rs.20 lakh crore and making it available for the speculation in share market under the most deceptive and fraudulent camouflage of ‘universalisation of social security’.
Privatization of all strategic PSUs, including defence production, public sector banks and insurance and also railways, public road transport, oil, power etc through disinvestment, strategic sale, outsourcing in favour of private sector, promoting 100 per cent FDI in many vital and strategic sectors are increasing day by day. Moreover stripping all the cash rich PSUs from the investible cash reserves are added assaults. In fact defence sector privatization move is actually designed to destroy manufacturing capability and research initiatives developed by the country over last six and half decades. The worst and most dubious is the game plan to outsource more than 50 per cent products including weapons and critical equipments, so long being produced by the ordinance establishments. Step by step complete privatization of the railways is going on. Operating private trains in the existing tracks built by railways is being permitted. Moreover free access to railway yards, sheds and workshops for maintenance of private coaches, wagons and engines, etc., are being offered to private operators. Already 23 railway stations in all metro cities have been shortlisted for privatisation. Railway employees shall be the worst victims of privatization in terms of job security, trade union democratic rights and protection of achievements in the areas of pay, perks, social security, etc. Like Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERC), a Railway Development Authority (RDA) has been created. Given the sky-rocketing increase in electricity tariff by CERC, under RDA railway fare and goods freight is poised to be hiked, hurting the common people and benefiting the private profiteers.
Public sector banks are under attack through various legislative and executive measures. The ultimate target of the Government is privatization and to extend undue favour to the same private corporate crooks, whose default of paying back the loan has put the banking sector in severe difficulties. The retrenchment of contractual employees has already been resorted to in some banks. Insurance sector is also under such an attack. Legislative measures to pave the way of privatization of our major ports are also in the advanced stage. CPSUs even including the core and strategic sectors like energy, petroleum, telecom, metal, mining, machine building, road, air and water transport, port & dock and more are under the privatization onslaught of the Government. The Convention notes that workers of these industries are fighting sectoral battle unitedly. United struggles have been launched by the workers and employees of Government services sector including the scheme workers as a whole. The Convention extends full support to these struggles.
Attempts are being made by the state governments to dismantle public sector road transport by issuing route-permits to private parties. The central government intends to get the new Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2017 hastily passed in the current session of parliament which will allow wholesale privatisation of road transport. The Convention while taking note of the protest action by transport workers, condemns the state governments and central government’s anti-people and anti-worker moves in the transport sector.
The Convention of workers extends full solidarity to the fighting farmers in various states as well as under the Joint National Forums of Peasants’ Organizations. It is the same set of pro-corporate, pro-landlord policies which have created a severe crisis in agriculture, biggest livelihood provider in the economy leading to continuing increase in spate of suicides.
This Convention of workers records its strong denunciation against the communal and divisive machinations on the society being carried on with the active patronage of the government machinery …. It is disrupting the unity of the workers and the toiling people … Working class must raise their strong voice of protest.
The situation before the country is the deepening all-round attack on the rights and livelihood of the working class and the toiling people … On the other hand the working class has achieved solid unity of the trade union movement and also achieved unprecedented response in the ongoing struggles including the strike actions opposing such suicidal anti-people policies.
The Convention of workers decided:
- To work for achieving and accelerating united struggles in all the sectors of the economy on respective demands.
- To organize block/district/industrial centres/state level massive campaign, mobilisation and conventions.
- To organize massive three days dharna at the National Capital on 9th,10th and 11th of November to be attended by lakhs of workers from all over the country.
- To prepare for indefinite countrywide strike action against the anti people, anti national activities of the Govt.
It called upon working people across the sectors and throughout the country irrespective of affiliations to make the above programs a total success.