Construction & Brick kiln Workers March to Parliament
AT the call of the Construction Workers Federation of India (CITU) a massive workers rally was held at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on April 6, 2015. More than 10,000 workers assembled from 21 states, which included West Bengal, Tripura, Manipur, Odisha, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The workers rally was presided over by R Singaravelu, president of CWFI. The rally was addressed by A K Padmanabhan, president, CITU. He spoke about the central government’s policies which are effecting the day to day life of Indian working class. Labour laws are being amended to snatch away the trade union rights. Employers are getting more and more powerful to crash the trade union movement. The workers of transport industry, postal department employees, defence employees, central government employees, railway employees are on the road of struggle and going to have their strikes, he said. The construction workers are also going to observe one day national strike on June 1, 2015. Preparations are going on to campaign on the demands at the grass root level so that the strike will be successful. Tapan Sen, general secretary, CITU and Member of Parliament addressed the gathering and said that this Modi government is trying its best in different ways to divide the working class on the question of religion, language etc. We should be very conscious to foil these types of disruptive activities of the BJP government, he said. The mammoth rally of the construction workers is a step forward towards holding the strike successfully on June 1, 2015. Sampath, CPI(M) MP, addressing the gathering urged for bigger national level struggle of construction workers to realise their demands. He hoped that the June 1, 2015 national strike will be a great success. Debanjan Chakrabarti, general secretary, CWFI addressing the gathering explained the demands to be submitted before the labour minister, and minister for external affairs and Indian overseas employment department. The Government of India must take necessary steps to implement the construction workers welfare fund scheme in all the states and union territories in a proper way, he said. R Singaravelu, president CWFI, Malathi Chittibabu, vice-president CWFI (Tamilnadu), Sukbir Singh, secretary, CWFI, (Haryana), Ravindar Kumar, vice-president, CWFI (Himachal Pradesh), Tapan Sharma, secretary, CWFI (Assam), Santa, secretary, CWFI (Manipur), Tarsem Singh Jodha, vice-president, CWFI, Deshraj (Punjab), Monohar (Bihar), Biman Maity (Odisha), Jagdish Sharma (J&K) addressed the workers rally. Under the leadership of Tapan Sen, a delegation comprising of KV Jose, Malathi Chittibabu, Suresh Routroy, Bhanwar Singh, Prem Goutam met Sushma Swaraj, minister for external affairs and Indian overseas employment, Government of India, submitted the memorandum. The minister concerned assured the delegation of taking necessary steps for the protection of Indian immigrant construction workers, those who are facing trouble abroad. Another delegation comprising Tapan Sen, MP, Sankar Dutta, MP, R Singaravelu, TK Achutan, Arakan Balan, Naba Mahanty, Sunil Sarkar, Sanyasi Dalui, Sukhbir Singh, Kottam Raju, and MH Sheikh met the labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya, and submitted a memorandum. The minister expressed his concern over the issues to the delegation and assured to take necessary action.