January 21, 2024

CITU Denounces Govt Move to Facilitate Sending Indian Workers to Israel

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a statement issued on January 15, has strongly condemned the union government's initiative to provide Indian workers to Israel, a country that has unleashed inhuman, barbaric, and genocidal war on Palestine. CITU urges the government to rescind the agreement entered into with Israel for the provision of Indian workers.

CITU appeals to Indian workers, cautioning them against falling prey to the abetment of the BJP-led governments at the centre and states, for going for jobs in Israel. The statement emphasizes that Israel itself is a conflict-torn area, and its government is rendering thousands of Palestinians working in Israel jobless while carrying out genocidal attacks on Palestine.

In November 2023, the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship, overseeing the National Skill Development Council (NSDC), reportedly entered into a three-year agreement with Israel. According to the agreement, it will facilitate Indian workers for temporary employment in specific labour sectors such as construction and caregiving in Israel. This agreement was made amid the genocidal war Israel was waging on Palestine, with thousands of casualties reported. CITU and its affiliate, the Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI), had condemned the agreement at that time, expressing concern that it would put the lives of vulnerable unemployed youth of the nation at risk, and push them into death trap.

As the barbaric attacks on Gaza by Israel extend into their 100th day, reports indicate that the BJP-led governments of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Haryana are preparing to screen youth for jobs in Israel. However, the Central Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) absolve themselves of any responsibility concerning the future, safety, and basic labour protections of the workers, including the social security. At the same time, the NSDC is collecting charges of Rs 10,000 from unemployed youth in the name of providing the necessary skill sets required for jobs in Israel.

This action by the Government of India, seeking to supply cheap manpower to a country embroiled in a genocidal war, goes against UN resolutions advocating for two nations, and a ceasefire, and against India's established foreign policy, which recognises Palestine as a free, independent, sovereign nation. It aligns the Indian government with Israel's inhuman Zionist genocidal war, jeopardising the lives of Indian workers. The government must immediately cease this inhuman initiative.