March 13, 2016

TUs Call for Protest Action in Maharashtra

P R Krishnan

THE Trade Unions Joint Action Committee (TUJAC) has given a call for state wide protest actions in Maharashtra against the anti-labour policies of state and central governments. This call was given in a convention organised by trade unions on February 24 in Gopal Shetty Hall at Lower Parel in Mumbai. Representatives from major central trade union organisations and federations took part in the convention. A resolution passed in the convention has registered strong protest against the decision of the Maharashtra and central governments to make retrograde amendments in the labour laws. The convention demanded that no such changes be made in labour laws. The convention took a decision to launch protest  actions by the working class against these policies. Accordingly the unions will organise a dharna in Mumbai on March 10 and thereafter hold a protest rally on April 20.

 The resolution passed in the meeting gave details of the various anti-labour decisions and policies of the state and central governments. It was moved by Dr DL Karad, the general secretary of Maharashtra state committee of CITU. Dr Karad in his speech pointed out that the BJP headed Devendra Phadnavis government is trying to impose in Maharashtra what the RSS guided government in Rajasthan has done in that state. The Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan has made retrograde changes in labour laws with the blessings of Narendra Modi government in the centre. All those changes made or proposed are to help corporate bodies and business houses. We should not allow that to happen in Maharashtra. Therefore the trade unions should be prepared to launch strong united protest actions said Dr Karad.

This was followed by reports and discussions by representatives of different organisations. The leaders who spoke in the meeting were  Mahabal Shetty, Shankar Salvi and Sanjay Vadhavkar (HMS), Dr KK Theckedath (BUCTU), MA Patil, (NTUI)  Shubha Shamim (Anganwadi), Vishwas Udagi (AIBEA), Nivruti Desai (INTUC), Shudhakar Apraj, (Port & dock), V Jayaram (UTUC) and Dr Vivek Monteiro (CITU). The resolution amongst other things demanded (1) that the central government and the Maharashtra government should withdraw the proposed amendments in the labour legislations, (2) contract system be abolished and workers engaged in contract system be treated as regular workers of the principal employers, (3) statutory minimum wage should not be less than Rs 18000/- per month and (4)  Anganwadi, Asha, Mid Day Meal, Gram Sevak and other scheme workers be given government status and wages and other benefits applicable in government services.

The proceedings in the convention were conducted by a presidium comprising of AD Golandaz (AITUC), Sayeed Ahamad (CITU), Shankar Salvi (HMS), MA Patil (New Trade Union Initiative), and Anil Ganacharya (INTUC).