NATIONAL CONVENTION OF WORKERS AT NEW DELHI
The National Convention of Workers organised under the auspices of the 11 Central Trade Unions at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi on 4th September 2012 has chalked out agitational programmes including a two-days General Strike on 20th and 21st February 2013.
The Talkatora Stadium was filled up and was overflowing to outside the stadium by the massive participation of workers who have come from all the states, especially from the nearby Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Punjab etc. More than 5,000 delegates must have attended. The entire compound and the outside of the stadium was decorated and there were large number of flags and banners of the Central Trade Unions and the various Independent federations of workers in various sectors like Central-State governments, Postal, BSNL, Banks, Electricity, Coal, Transport, Insurance etc.
A big colourful banner was displayed in the back of the decorated stage with the name of the convention and of the Central Trade Unions. The Presidium consisting of the Presidents or senior leaders of each central trade union sat in the front row. It included Coms. A.K.Padmanabhan (CITU), Amarjit Kaur (AITUC) and others. The General Secretaries and other senior leaders sat in the second row.
The Convention was addressed by Shri Baidya Nath Rai, General Secretary, BMS, Dr. Sanjeeva Reddy, General Secretary, INTUC, Com. Gurudas Dasgupta, GS AITUC, Com. Tapan Sen, GS CITU and other leaders. All of them strongly opposed the anti-worker policies of the government and called upon the workers to continue the struggle against the neo-liberal policies which is causing more and more misery to the toiling masses. They impressed upon the workers the need for complete unity amongst the workers, not only at the leadership level but at all levels. Each speaker was enthusiastically applauded by the house by clapping of hands.
After the speeches were over, the Presidium moved the Resolution on programmes, which was already circulated to the delegates. The Resolution cited the various agitational programme conducted earlier on the demands raised by the CTUs and the good support received from the workers at all levels. It was reported that more than 10 crore workers participated in the last one day strike organised on 28th February 2012. The following demands were reiterated in the resolution:
1) Contract measures to contain price rise. 2). Concrete measures for employment generation. 3) Strict enforcement of Labour Laws. 4) Universal social security cover for organised and unorganised workers and creation of National Security Fund and 5) Stoppage of disinvestment in Central PSUs and undertakings.
On the above issues, the Convention demanded immediate action by the Government of India to ensure:
- No Contractorisation of work of permanent /perennial nature and payment of wages and benefits to the contract workers at the same rate as available to the regular workers of the industry / establishment.
- Amendment of Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage irrespective of the schedules and fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs. 10,000 linked with cost price index.
- Remove all ceilings on payment and eligibility of Bonus, Provident Fund; Increase the quantum of gratuity.
- Assured Pension for all.
- Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of the ILO Conventions Nos. 87 and 98.
The National convention also adopted the following action programme to press for once again the above burning issues facing the working people:
1. State/District/Sector level Joint Conventions during September, October and November 2012.
2. Satyagraha, Jail Bharao/Court Arrest on 18th / 19th December 2012 in all states throughout the country.
3. March to Parliament of 20th December 2012 ( mobilisation by the unions from the states adjoining Delhi)
4. Countrywide Two Days General Strike on 20th and 21st February 2013.
The resolution was supported/signed by BMS, INTUC, AITUC, CITU, HMS, AIUTUC, TUCC, AICCTU, UTUC, LPF, SEWA and Independent Federations of Workers and Employees.
The programmes should be effectively organised and there should be maximum propaganda.
The National Convention was not only a show of strength and Unity but also one more historical milestone in the fight for the cause of the workers.