A people’s convention of unorganized coal workers was held under the banner of the Jharkhand General Mazdoor Union (JGMU) on 23 December 2017 at the Gola Dak Bangla in Gola Block, Ramgarh District, Jharkhand. These workers earn their livelihood by peddling coal on their cycles. The main issues at the people’s convention were employment, proper wages, social dignity and security. Prior to the convention a workers’ rally was taken out from the Gola Bariyatu Mandap site under the leadership of comrades Hiralal Mahto, Lalchand Thakur, Bahadur Karmali and Lakhicharan Bhokta. The rally was embellished with flags and banners and resounded with slogans demanding employment, correct wages, social dignity and security and asserting that those who sold coal on cycles are not thieves but workers.
After the rally, the convention started with the slogan of “Workers of the World Unite!”, It was presided over by Com. Hiralal Mahto. Inaugurating the convention, Union General Secretary Com. Bhuvaneshwar Bediya said that the entire Ramgarh is a coal region where coal is the only mineral. The economy of the District is based upon the mining, transportation, buying and selling of coal. But the coal workers are being deprived of their rights. The unorganized coal workers do not get regular work, proper wages, social dignity and security. Those who sell coal on their cycles are branded thieves and ‘commission’ is extorted from them by the thana. If they do not pay they are beaten and their cycles are snatched or broken. Workers must unite and fight against this injustice.
The convention was also addressed by Union Ramgarh District President Com. Laxman Bediya, Jharkhand Gramin Mazdoor Sabha District President Com. Devki Nandan Bediya, and Com. Lalchand Thakur. Many unorganized workers also spoke at the convention. At the end of the convention, the Gola Block Committee of the JGMU was constituted. The convention concluded with a call t make the 10th Party Congress a success.