THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement issued on October 16, has congratulated the Haryana Roadways employees for the successful total strike on its first day (October 16, 2018) of the two days’ strike as per the call of the joint forum of all trade unions against the move for total privatisation of roadway services by the BJP government of Haryana. No bus was on the road on the first day. The strike received full support from the public as well.
CITU extends full support and solidarity to the strike to save the public transport system in the state in the larger interest of the people. It strongly condemns the vindictive and repressive actions of the Haryana government and the management of Haryana Roadways on the striking workers.
For the last three years, the BJP government of Haryana is desperately trying to wind up Haryana Roadways and handover the entire passenger transport to the private operators. Earlier in 2017, the government had decided to issue permits to private operators in 3600 routes. It was vehemently opposed by all the trade unions except the BMS and a series of struggles were launched. Finally the government was compelled to withdraw its decision in the face of militant united indefinite strike by the roadways workers and declared that a new transport policy will be adopted duly taking the unions into confidence.
But violating this promise, the pro-corporate BJP government in Haryana has been continuously trying for backdoor privatisation of the state transport sector. Now, the government has unilaterally declared that 720 private buses will be hired/taken on lease by Haryana Roadways on kilometre basis and operate on state transport routes. The unions have opposed the scheme system tooth and nail and decided to go for strike to save the industry. They called for two days strike on October 16-17, 2018.
The government resorted to vindictive and repressive actions since the strike notice was issued by the joint forum of trade unions. ESMA has been imposed. Around 250 workers and union leaders were suspended; union offices of AIRTWF, AITUC, and INTUC in some places like Faridabad depot have been sealed. Leave to the union leaders is also not sanctioned. In spite of such large scale repression, the strike is total throughout the state. CITU demands the Haryana government to put an end to the vindictive actions, withdraw the proposed hire scheme for privatisation and negotiate with the unions.
It is highly appreciable that the workers are giving a befitting reply to the government by intensifying the struggle and we are sure that the trade union movement in Haryana will defeat the government move to privatise the public assets.