March 20, 2016

State-Level Convention of Construction Workers Held in Jammu

A state-level convention of construction workers was held in Jammu on March 5. Around 200 delegates from 14 out of 22 districts of Jammu and Kashmir attended the convention, organised by the Construction Workers’ Federation of India (CWFI). Yusuf Tarigami, president of CITU Jammu and Kashmir state committee, inaugurated the convention. In his inaugural speech, Tarigami dwelt upon the anti-people and anti-working class policies of the Modi government at the Centre. The promise of ‘ache din’ has disappeared and the workers have now realised the effect of the government’s policies that serve the interests of national and international big business only. Within a short period of time, the BJP government has exposed itself, he said. Tarigami said BJP, backed by RSS, wants to divide the Indian people and demolish the secular fabric of our Constitution. We cannot be silent spectators. We have to resist this serious conspiracy of the RSS-BJP combine. Ramesh placed a brief report on activities and struggles led by different unions in different districts and projects. CITU state general secretary Om Prakash, while addressing the delegates, spoke about the agony of migrant workers in the state. Prem Gautam, convener of Northern Regional Committee of CWFI, shared his experience of struggles in Himachal Pradesh and requested the state unit to organise project construction workers under the banner of CITU and CWIF. Sukhbir Singh, secretary of CWFI Haryana state committee, Bhanwar Singh of Rajasthan, Natha Singh of Punjab Nirmaan Mazdoor Union and Ravinder Kumar of Himachal Pradesh narrated struggles and achievements in their respective state. Separate resolutions were moved seeking proper implementation of the Construction Workers Act in Jammu and Kashmir and on communal harmony. The convention unanimously elected a 35-member Jammu and Kashmir State Preparatory Committee for Construction Workers. Nissar Kamraji and Raj Kumar were elected as joint convener. This Preparatory Committee will function till the state conference of construction workers takes place within six months. Debanjan Chakrabarti, General Secretary of CWFI, spoke about benefits of the Constitution Workers Welfare Fund. He narrated how workers in other states realised many of their demands through struggles and movements. He said there is provision for financial assistance to construction workers for building house in the Act and asked the state unit to launch movement so that workers in Jammu and Kashmir get the benefit. He also demanded skill development institute for construction workers and their family members in Jammu and Kashmir. (END)