(more reports from the states)
International May Day 2017 was observed in India at a time when the Centre and BJP State governments declared celebration of May Day as ‘un-Indian’! Instead, they say, we need to celebrate only Vishwakarma Puja as a day for workers. PM Modi tweeted on the occasion the RSS slogan ‘Shrameva Jayate’ but on the contrary he and his government is hell bent on ensuring the defeat of workers and victory of capitalists. Labour laws are being attacked and mutilated; Maruti and Pricol workers are in jail on false charges; corporate taxes and debts are being waived while workers attempting to form or lead trade unions are being sentenced; regular jobs have been replaced by contractual work; workers are repressed if they ask for minimum wages and equal pay for equal work; women workers face rampant discrimination; dalit workers are still forced to continue manual scavenging.
AICCTU and affiliated organizations observed May Day across the country and pledged to fight discrimination and oppression in all forms against workers.
Here are brief reports from States which were not covered in last week’s issue:
Under the aegis of the May Day Committee in Allahabad, employees, students, youth, farmers, workers, cultural activists and writers at Subhash Chowk against the attacks on and cuts in labour laws and oppression of workers. The huge meeting was attended by members of central trade unions including AITUC, CITU, AICCTU, IFTU, INTUC, Central employees’ organizations such as, UP State employees’ organizations, students’ and youth organizations, women’s organizations and various workers’ organizations, lawyers and teachers. Leaders who addressed the meeting aid that anti-people policies are being implemented one after the other ever since the present BJP came to power in the country. Society is being divided by communal campaigns on Gau Raksha, Love Jihad and Ghar Wapasi, and this in turn is having a very adverse effect on the unity of workers. They called upon workers to resolve on May Day to unite against this anti-people government and resist the anti-worker policies strongly.
In Lucknow, the construction workers’ union affiliated to AICCTU took out a march from Parivartan Chowk which culminated in a meeting at the Gandhi statue. Addressing the meeting the leaders said that the BJP government is hell bent on imposing corporate fascism on the people. Privatization, labour law amendments, outsourcing, wage cuts, increase in working hours are becoming rampant. They called upon the people to resist these measures with full force. Rallies and meetings were also held at Sitapur, Moradabad, Kanpur and Sonbhadra.
The Bihar State Non-Gazetted Employees Association (Gope group) organized a Sankalp Sabha at the State Party office. CPI (ML) and AICCTU leaders addressed the meeting which began with tributes to martyrs and reading of the May Day resolutions. Earlier, programmes were also held at the AICCTU State office in Phulwari Sharif (under the banner of the Nalanda Biscuit Co Workers Union), Sudha Dairy (Phulwari Sharif), and Police Class IV Employees Association office at BMC Camp.
AICCTU organized rallies and meetings at various places in Bhagalpur—Sahebganj, Tilakamanjhi, BhikanpurGumti No 12, Jagdishpur, Bihpur Ambedkar Chowk, and other places. These rallies and meetings were attended by hundreds of construction workers, unorganized sector workers, and other workers.
A rally was taken out in Ahmedabad under the banners of CPI (ML) and AICCTU. The rally culminated in a meeting at Bhagat Singh Chowk attended by unorganized sector workers, adivasi agricultural and brick kiln workers, youth, women, and intellectuals. The meeting was addressed by Party and AICCTU leaders.
Addressing the meeting CPI (ML) General Secretary, Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the entire country is being shown a wrong image of Gujarat under the name of ‘Gujarat Model’. The truth is that, like everywhere else, here also the lakhs of unorganized sector workers are deprived of minimum economic and social security. Through the meeting, he raised the demand for a minimum wage of Rs 21,000. He stressed that the country’s working class would not tolerate the violence being perpetrated on dalits and minorities in the name of ‘Gau Raksha’ and would resist these feudal communal attacks. He pointed out the May Day was famous known for the fight for the 8 hour working day for workers, but in truth most workers are deprived of this right even today. He saluted the people of Gujarat for the dalit-adivasi-minority unity shown after the Una incident and appealed to the people to unite and fight against fascist forces.