A R Sindhu
“THIS struggle by the working class against the anti-worker Labour Codes and anti-national privatisation will complement the struggle of the peasants against the anti-farmers, Farm Acts and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020. These simultaneous fronts of struggles, by the peasants and workers, alone, can push back the pro-corporate neoliberal regime. Thus, it is of utmost importance for the working class to intensify the struggles on its specific demands along with the demand to repeal the Farm Acts”. This is the resolve of the extended meeting of the CITU Secretariat held on 21-22 December.
CITU IN INCREASING SOLIDARITY WITH THE STRUGGLING FARMERS – THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY
Since the promulgation of the three farm ordinances, CITU has been in the forefront of the struggle against these along with AIKS and other peasant organisations. The joint calls of CITU, AIKS and AIAWU on July 23, was observed in 86,422 places throughout the country. Joint call to observe ‘Save India Day’ was joined by all the central trade unions and AIKSCC and was observed in nearly two lakh places and households. One of the major demands of November 26, 2020, was the repealing of the three Farm Acts. Joint Platform of central trade unions has decided to support all the calls by the AIKSCC and the Samyukta Morcha of Farmers. CITU activists throughout the country participated in the calls given by AIKS/AIKSCC/SKM, whether it was December 3, 5 or December 8 Bharat Bandh. The call for the boycott of Ambani and Adani products, free toll plazas etc., were made successful in the cities by the working class.
NATIONAL PROTEST DAY
Taking up the solidarity to the next level, on December 30, 2020, workers under CITU had observed national protest day in more than one lakh workplaces. In many states, protests were organised in front of Ambani/ Adani companies. Unorganised sector workers organised protests at the village and block levels. In industrial townships and collieries in states like MP, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh where along with privatisation, the question of land take over is also a big issue; massive protest actions were held.
AT DELHI BORDERS
CITU activists were actively helping the farmers in breaking the police barricades in Haryana on November 26-27, 2020. Construction, electricity, transport and other unions were active in filling the dug-up roads, help to remove the concrete blocks and barbed wires.
In different places in Haryana, langars(free food supply centres) were organised by the CITU/SKS units for farmers from Punjab and Haryana on their way to Delhi.
Medical camps were organised and are still being run by FMRAI units at various borders with the help of doctors organisations and Jan Swasthay Abhiyan.
MASSIVE CAMPAIGN AND FUND COLLECTION FOR FARMERS’ STRUGGLE
Various units of CITU have been continuously organising massive campaign against these Farm Acts and its impact and help AIKS mobilising the farmers in different states. Anganwadi federation had taken up a one-week campaign in December among the beneficiaries. As per the call of AIKS, various CITU unions, state/district committees and federations are collecting struggle fund as well.
SOLIDARITY RALLIES AT BORDERS
In addition to these activities, CITU, has given a call for solidarity mobilisations of workers at the various struggle points at the borders of Delhi.
On December 8, at Gurgaon CITU state president Surekha and vice-president, Satvir Singh and CWFI president Sukhvir Singh along with hundreds of workers were arrested while trying to block the national highway. On December 13, nearly 150 anganwadi workers and helpers from Punjab under the leadership of Usharani, president AIFAWH and R Karumalaiyan, secretary CITU were at the forefront of the blocking of Jaipur National Highway at Shahjahanpur.
Different CITU committees near to Delhi have been actively participating in the protests in Delhi borders. In Palwal, CITU state president Ramvilas Goswami and general secretary, Pramod Pradhan led various delegations of workers from MP from the very beginning. UP and Delhi NCR committees are continuously mobilising at Ghazipur border, Haryana and Punjab committees are mobilising at Palwal, Singhu, Tikri and Shahjahanpur borders.
One the new year day, Tapan Sen general secretary, CITU had flagged of the first rally of scheme workers at Singhu border. These series of rallies in which hundreds of scheme workers, ASHA, Anganwadi and MDM(mid-day meal) workers participated, were held at various borders - on January 1, 2021, at Singhu and Ghazipur, on January 4, at Palwal, on January 5, at Tikri and on January 7, at Shahjahanpur.
Various other sectors like electricity, transport etc., had also had come in solidarity actions at the borders. The Electricity Employees Federation of India is planning for one day nationwide strike against the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2020, the three Farm Acts and four Labour Codes. The Coal Workers Federation has been organising protests and mobilising people against the acquisition of tribal land and privatisation of the coal sector.
CITU had also given a call for massive gheraos/ jailbharo at DM office throughout the country on January 7-8, 2021. In Tamil Nadu, massive court arrest programme was held on 8 January 2021.
The farmers have decided to intensify the struggle. The joint platform of Central Trade Unions has decided to support these actions declared by the farmers and join in thousands to the three days mahapadav in the state capitals on January 23-25, 2021 and the ‘Farmers Republic Day’ on January 26th converting it to workers-peasants assertion against the destructive, anti-people and anti-national policies of the Modi government.
The unity of the working class and the peasantry emerged during the struggle and the united actions have the potential to push back this corporate regime.