this is produced by contract workers hired by various contractors to whom the work has been outsourced.In Bhilai steel plant, per capita annual output has increased from 116 tonnes in 1993 to 347 tonnes in 2012 even as the ‘incentive’ paid to workers has dwindled over the same period from 47% of basic pay and dearness allowance to 5.44% of basic + DA! The story of telecommunication is quite similar. The state-run BSNL today caters to 65 million wireless subscribers and 27.9 million fixed-line users, but the size of the workforce has come down to less than 300,000. The implication is, while the staff to line ratio was 50 to 1000 in 1983, it came down to 10 to 1000 in 2003, and today it stands at 3 to 1000!

47. The employees of the financial sector – banking and insurance – successfully resisted the drive to privatise and open up this key sector of the Indian economy for the best part of the last two decades of neoliberal reforms. But with the entry of powerful foreign banks and insurance companies, nationalised banks and insurance corporations are steadily losing out and the privatisation offensive has gathered stronger momentum with the passage of Insurance Law (Amendment) Bill, 2008 and Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011. And now there is also the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2011, which seeks to allow 49% FDI in the pension-PF sector. This move will give free hand to the fund managers to invest wherever they want amounting virtually to ‘reverse FDI’ where corporates and multinationals would merrily
play with thousands of crores of rupees of hard-earned money of the Indian working people to reap huge profits through share market speculations.

48. The defence industry in India had developed almost exclusively in the public sector. But the trend of privatisation and globalisation has not spared this industry either. Growing reliance on imports – for the last three years India has been the world’s largest importer of arms – has affected the process of indigenisation of defence production. The defence sector – comprising primarily the ordnance factories, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Military Engineering services – still continues to employ a sizable contingent of workers including growing numbers of contractual workers. While guiding our comrades employed in the defence sector, the working class department of the Party and the central trade union organisation must explore possibilities of intervening more effectively in the ongoing efforts of defence employees including contract workers to organise and fight for improved conditions and greater rights. The struggle of the defence, railways and central government employees and some state government employees against a reduced discriminatory pension
for new recruits should be vigorously supported by all central trade unions.

49. Our work among Public Sector and Government workers still remains quite limited. In the railways we have floated our unions in three railway zones and one production unit while continuing to work within mainstream unions in other places. In the coal and steel sectors we have our unions, but despite exhibiting great potential in struggles from time to time, the unions still remain confined to a few units and the potential of rapid expansion and greater role is yet to be realised. In banking, insurance, and telecommunication sectors, our comrades work within other Left-led unions. We have a leading presence in the struggles of state government employees in Bihar and Jharkhand and also enjoy significant support in Uttarakhand, apart from having pockets of influence in several other states, but the idea of developing a national coordination on this front has not made much progress. While fighting for the economic demands and political rights of government employees, we must try and establish linkages with the common people to make common cause in the struggle against privatisation and growing cost and deteriorating quality of public services.

50. Our work in the public sector must pay utmost attention to the contract workers who now account for more than half of the workforce in PSUs. Despite their growing numbers and important role in running the core operations, they have been kept out of the purview of bipartite committees and are being denied the right to vote for recognition of unions in the industry, apart from facing daily attacks by the management-contractor nexus. While