Hundreds of workers gathered in front of City Magistrate Office in Noida (India) demanding the release of their fellow comrades falsely arrested during the nationwide trade union strike on February 21st 2013. Many workers belonging to various trade unions are still in jail and charged with false cases under the direction of UP Government to protect the vested interests of bourgeoisie industrialists. Also the workers protested against the exploitation under the hands of police-capitalists-government nexus and demanded their basic rights. The protest was organized under the banner of All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) and Revolutionary Youth Association.
The protest was addressed by Santosh Rai, secretary of the Delhi unit of AICCTU, Aslam Khan, National Vice President of RYA, Rakhi Sehgal, Vice President, Hero Honda Theka Mazdoor Sangathan, Dharuhera (affiliated to NTUI), Farhan, from AISA’s Jamia unit, Shivji of AICCTU (Noida) and Hareram Yadav, AICCTU (Khoda) who was jailed last year on false charges during the trade union strike. Later the workers submitted a memorandum to UP Chief Minister through the city magistrate with demands including: (1) End contract labour policy in both public and private sectors, (2) Give a deadline to provide pucca houses for the people living in jhuggis, (3) Implement minimum wages/15000/8 hours, workplace safety norms, along with other labour laws in all companies, factories, hotels and shops in Noida, (4) Ensure that employers provide identity card to all workers, (5) Enact laws to guarantee urban employment with the provision for assured employment for 200 days along with the provision to provide compensation in case of unemployment for sustenance, (6) Ensure speedy issuance of Social Security card for all construction workers, (7) Give deadline for giving licenses and dedicated space for all the hawkers, feriwalas, vendors and rickshaw-walas in Noida, (8) Implement existing laws for women workers under which they can avail all the facilities including crèche and toilets at the earliest, (9) Enact Domestic Workers Law along the lines of the laws for domestic workers in Maharashtra, (10) Start a Workers helpline to address the workers’ grievances and special squads to ensure speedy action on these grievances, (11) Increase the number of labor inspectors, factory inspectors, etc to ensure that labor laws are adhered to in work places and provide a labor court in every industrial zone, (12) Ensure proper organization of ration shops and provide ration cards to all citizens at the earliest along with action against ration card fraud, (13) Ensure proper drainage of dirty water in all the jhuggies-basties of the area along with cleaning, repairing the supply of clean water, and road repairs.