Workers, belonging to ten different trade unions, demanded the implementation of the 12-point charter they had given to the union government last year.
AFTER the historic three-day Mahapadav in November 2017, the joint platform of trade unions continues to fight against the anti-worker policies of the government. The joint platform had decided that in the last week of January they will hold a Jail Bharo satyagraha across the country. On January 30, workers across India have gone on a jail bharo (fill jails) Satyagraha. Workers affiliated with ten trade unions are demanding the implementation of the 12 point charter of demands they had given to the union government last year.
The twelve point charter had demands that ranged from a minimum wage of Rs 18,000 to universal social security. There were also demands made to end the privatisation of government institutions and the protection of labour laws that are hardly being implemented currently. The protesting workers had then warned that if the state did not implement the charter of demands they would go on a nationwide agitation.
As part of that programme, the workers in Delhi courted arrest by marching towards the parliament bypassing the police barricades. When they were detained, leaders representing the ten trade unions addressed the workers.
Tapan Sen, general secretary, CITU said, “The Modi government is going to sell the country. In Bawana, 17 workers were burnt to death. We do not know whether their families got any compensation and these kinds of accidents are constantly happening all the time in the country.” A deadly fire had broken out at a fireworks factory in Bawana on January 20, claiming 20 lives. Among the dead, seven were women, one of whom was pregnant.
Speaking on the policies followed by the government he said, “Yesterday, the president said in the parliament that the ease of doing business our country has gone up. He forgot to talk about the hunger report in which our country ranks below Pakistan and Bangladesh. The country is pushing the farmers towards hunger and destitution by supporting the big industrialists and looters.”
Amarjeet Kaur, general secretary, AITUC, said, “We might follow different religions and speak different languages, but we all are the working class. The government has to address the questions that concern the workers.” She stressed that the “diversion tactics of the government have to be fought against” and in the coming budget, there were no propositions for the creation of new jobs.
Other leaders from AICCTU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, INTUC, SEWA, UTUC, LPF and MEC also spoke on the occasion.