THE working class of India in one voice issued a stern warning to the BJP led government at the centre that its attempts to sell off the interests of the people and the nation to the big corporates and financial institutions will not be tolerated.
This warning was given from the ‘National Convention of Workers’, held in New Delhi on September 15, 2014 under the banner of the joint platform of all central trade unions along with the all India federations representing workers and employees from all sectors of Indian economy. The hundreds of trade union leaders and activists who attended the convention from all over the country affirmed their determination to fight and defeat the government decisions to push through anti-worker amendments to the labour laws, disinvestment of public sector and allow/hike FDI in railways, defence and insurance sectors.
The convention represented workers and employees from almost all sectors, organised and unorganised. Trade union leaders and activists from railways, water transport, road transport, coal, steel, electricity, oil, defence, insurance, banks, telecom, modern manufacturing, construction, state and central government employees, anganwadi, ASHA, mid day meal workers, beedi, home based industries, domestic workers, etc attended the convention. Irrespective of their political affiliations, all of them expressed their serious indignation at the haste with which the BJP government was proceeding with its anti-worker, anti-people policies, while displaying the same ‘policy paralysis’ it accused its predecessor of, when it came to address the serious problems of the workers and the people like price rise, employment etc.
The convention was presided by a presidium comprising AK Padmanabhan from CITU, BN Rai from BMS, Ghunam Singh from INTUC, Amarjeet Kaur from AITUC, Shiv Gopal Mishra from HMS, Satyavan Singh from AIUTUC, GR Shiv Shankar from TUCC, Lata Behn from SEWA, Santosh Rai from AICCTU, Shatrujit Singh from UTUC, and JP Singh from LPF. Tapan Sen from CITU, Vrijesh Upadhyay from BMS, Sanjeeva Reddy from INTUC, Gurudas Dasgupta from AITUC, Harbhajan Singh from HMS, Sankar Saha from AIUTUC, SP Tewari from TUCC, Monali Shah from SEWA, Swapan Mukherjee from AICCTU, Abani Roy from TUCC and M Shanmugam from LPF spoke in the convention in support of the Declaration after which it was unanimously adopted.
The convention also adopted a programme of action as a prelude to intense struggle if the government chose to ignore its warning. Joint state level and wherever possible district and industry level conventions will be conducted in all states in the months of September – October. This will be followed by an all India Protest Day on December 5 through massive joint demonstrations in all state capitals. A joint demonstration mobilising workers from the neighbouring states will be held in the national capital, Delhi on the same day.
The convention gave the call to strengthen working class unity at the grass root/ factory/ unit level, create awareness about the impact of the government policies among widest sections of workers and gear them up for the struggle ahead.