Onto 2024 Parliamentary Elections: Central Trade Unions and Kisan Morcha Line Up Action Programmes
J S Majumdar
THE joint platform consisting of 10 Central Trade Unions (excluding the RSS-affiliated BMS), 42 National Industrial Federations/Associations, and the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) representing over 200 kisan organisations, has outlined a series of action programmes with the objective of challenging the pro-corporate and pro-communal divisive policies of the Modi-led BJP government at the centre. The primary initiatives include micro-level campaigns, establishment-wise mobilisations, and block-to-state-wise mass mobilisations.
The backdrop for these actions was the Mahapadav led by CTUs and SKM in New Delhi on November 26, 2023, observed as the 'Constitution Day.' This date also marked the historic commencement in 2020 when CTU-SKM initiated their united first action against the three farm laws and four labour codes. These legislative moves were attempts to corporatise land and agricultural produce and impose virtual bans on strikes, aiming for the total subjugation of labourers to corporates in a neo-liberal economic regime. The year-long indefinite stay-in at New Delhi's six entry points, supported by nationwide actions such as rail-roko and rasta-roko, concluded only after PM Modi apologised and repealed the three farm laws.
Following a nationwide house-to-house micro-level 'Jan Jagaran' campaign from January 10 to 20, 2024, exposing the Modi government's anti-worker-farmer-people policies, and SKM's tractor/vehicle parade at district headquarters on January 26, 2024, the first action programme is scheduled for February 16, 2023. On this day, workers, farmers, and other toiling sections aim to bring the country to a standstill through rail-roko, rasta roko, village bandh, processions, demonstrations, and picketing in front of central government establishments. Trade unions engaged in industry-wise or sectoral agitations, including strikes, will synchronise their actions with the general programme on February 16.
CTUs and SKM jointly appealed to organisations representing students, youths, women, teachers, and participants in social, art, cultural, literary movements to extend their support. Immediate demands include a remunerative price at C2+50 per cent and guaranteed procurement, loan waiver for small and middle farmers, Rs 26,000 as a minimum wage slightly above subsistence wage for workers, repeal of the four labour codes, guaranteed employment as a fundamental right, no privatisation of PSUs including railways, defence, and electricity, no contractorisation of jobs, strengthening MNREGA with 200 days of work and Rs 600 as daily wage, restoration of the old pension scheme, the right to fair compensation and transparency in the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, defending democracy and federalism, and opposing communalism, among others.