Rail Workers in Mumbai
Thousands of rail workers in Mumbai came out in support of January 8th All India Strike. Demonstrations were organised at Mumbai CST station, Bharat Mata Junction as well as in front of Dadar Central Railway station.
Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) along with All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) and All India Guards Council (AIGC) organised a demonstration of motormen, loco pilots and guards of Central Railway in front of the Motormen/Guards Lobby at Mumbai CST station, during peak office hours of 10.30 AM to 12 PM . Com Mathew of Kamgar Ekta Committee and Com R.K. Sharma, Joint General Secretary, Central Railway, AILRSA addressed the loco pilots, guards and the passengers.
Kamgar Ekta Committee along with All India Guards Council (AIGC), All India Station Masters Association (AISMA), All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA), All India Traffic Controllers Association (AITCA) and Western Railway Trackmaintainers Association (WRTA) organised a demonstration in front of Dadar Central Railway Station from 4 to 6 PM. This demonstration was organised under the banner of All India Railway Employees Confederation (AIREC). Com Mathew of Kamgar Ekta Committee, Com A.K.Srivastava, Zonal Secretary, Western Railway, AIGC, Com Kumar Kundan, Mumbai Divisional President, AISMA and Com Deepak , WRTA, addressed the rail workers and the passengers.
In both the above actions Kamgar Ekta Committee distributed booklets explaining the importance of participating in the general strike.
Hundreds of rail workers affiliated to National Railway Mazdoor Union took out a rally from Mumbai CST to Azad Maidan at 1 PM.
Hundreds of Rail workers affiliated to Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh demonstrated at Bharat Mata Junction near Currey Road from 2 PM.
Many railway workers belonging to different rail unions wore black badges in support of the All India strike on January 8 while carrying out their duties.
Rallies and demonstrations in Delhi
Workers from different areas of Delhi participated actively in the General Strike called on 8th January by the Ten trade unions and all-India Federations. They came out on the streets to raise their voices in opposition to the policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. They strongly condemned the government’s anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti-student, anti-social and anti-national policies. The workers voiced their strong opposition to the divisive Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which the government has brought in to divide the country.
The strike reflected the unity of the working class. The masses of people in Delhi supported the strike action.
Joint rallies were taken out by trade unions in Okhla, Mangolpuri, Udyog Nagar, Lawrence Road, Bhawana, Wazirpur, Samaipur Badli, Kirti Nagar, Rama Road, Nazafgadh Road, Narayana, Motinagar, Mayapuri, Patparganj, Jhilmil and other industrial sectors of Delhi. Women workers were present in large numbers in these rallies. Workers of several factories downed their tools and joined the rally.
Workers of public sector banks participated in the strike. Teachers, employees and students of Delhi University took out joint rallies in their campuses. They demanded that the central government should allocate 10 per cent of its budget on education. They opposed the violence against students of JNU and also opposed their CAA and NRC.
ASHA and Mid-day Meal workers demonstrated in front of Delhi’s Vikas Bhavan in support of the strike. Doctors and staff of Delhi’s government hospitals wore black bands in solidarity with the General Strike. Workers of the Central Warehousing Corporation participated in the strike. Workers of MCD and DTC, Bank and insurance employees, Construction workers and workers of several sectors participated in the strike.
Central Trade Unions and Federations took out a joint rally in Shaheed Park on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg. Hundreds of workers of the various sectors of the economy joined this rally. The rally culminated in a meeting in front of the Times of India office. Among those who addressed the rally were Tapan Sen of CITU, Amarjit Kaur of AITUC, Harbhajan Singh of HMS, Rajiv Damri of AICCTU, R.S. Dagger of UTUC, R.K.Sharma of AIUTUC, G.Devrajan of TUCC, Ashok Singh of INTUC and Prakash Rao of Mazdoor Ekta Committee.
Rally in Nohar
On 8th January, Mazdoor Ekta Committee and Akhil Rajasthan Rajya Samyukta Karamchari Mahasangh and several other organisations led a demonstration on the occasion of the General Strike in Nohar block of Hanumangadh District in Rajasthan. Peasants stayed away from their work in this area and various factories and trades also downed their shutters in observance of the strike.
Hundreds of peasants and workers took out a rally in Nohar. The rally made its way through the town to the office of the sub-divisional authority. The streets through which the rally passed reverberated with slogans of “Inquilab Zindabad!”, “Down with Privatisation!”, “Halt the sale of public property” and “Down with Capitalism!” The rally culminated in a militant meeting in front of the sub-divisional office. A 16-point demand letter addressed to the Prime Minister and Chief Minister of the state was handed over to the sub-divisional authority.
The meeting was addressed by the representatives of all the organisations. Among them were Hanuman Prasad – vice President of Lok Raj Sangathan’s All India Council, Mehboob and Mohsin of Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Shankar Dev and Mahavir Sharma of Karamchari Mahasangh, Kalu Ram Pradhan of CITU, Pushpak Sharma and Shankar Saini of INTUC, Amar Singh Saharan – President of the Krishi Paryavekshak Sangh. Moseen Khan, Dr.Krishna Nokhval, Dharmpal Khati, Ram Singh Saranswa, Com. Ashok and Com. Gulshan were also present on the occasion.
Demonstrations at different places in Mumbai
Workers in Mumbai wholeheartedly supported the call given by the Central Trade Unions for a nation wide general strike on 8th January 2020. Workers of banks, insurance companies and state government struck work and thousands marched to Azad Maidan for a rally from 11.30 AM to 3 PM. The rally was also attended by ASHA workers , anganwadi workers, school and college teachers, etc. Workers of Mazgaon Docks, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited as well as many factories completely struck work. The workers of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited were denied permission to take out a long march from Sion to Dadar and hence they walked out of the refinery and protested at the gate.
There were simultaneous mass rallies at Andheri, Bhandup, Chembur Naka, Dadar, Thane, Bhiwandi and other places organised by different unions such as AITUC, CITU, HMS, INTUC and Kamgar Ekta Chalwal.
Workers also struck work and carried out rallies in other major cities and towns of Maharashtra such as Pune, Nagpur, Aurangabad, etc.
Demonstration in Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh
Employees of various government departments, and peasants and workers gathered to demonstrate in front of the Collectorate in Sarguja district of Chhattisgarh. Employees across all government offices participated in the strike and stayed away from work.
Those who addressed the demonstration were – Raghunath Pradhan of M.R. Union, Pravin Singh of United Forum of Trade Unions, Anil Hinedi of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, Alka Dube of Dak (Postal) Karmachari Sangh, Charanprathi Arodh of AYIF, Parthi Mukherjee of DYFI, Anant Sinha – President of the Sarguja District Chattisgarh Third Grade Administrative Employees Union and others.
Speakers condemned the government’s anti-people, anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-national policies. They demanded that the government immediately halt the privatization of Railways and all public enterprises, revoke the changes made to the labour laws, procure the peasant’s crops at twice the price. They also called for the immediate cessation of CAA and NRC.