19th September 1968 one day strike by the Central government employees is historic in all respects. The main demand of the strike was ‘Need Based Minimum Wage’ as accepted by the 1957 tripartite Indian Labour Conference. The entire central government employees went on struggle on that day irrespective of the victimisation and threat from the government. Essential Service Maintenance Act was passed and the same was used against the striking workers. Brutal repression and punishments followed. 17 comrades were killed during the struggle, who sacrificed their valuable lives for the cause of the workers. Thousands were arrested and jailed; terminated from service or dismissed; brutal punishments were imposed on others. The Indira Gandhi government dealt with the workers as they were enemies of the country. But the workers stood their ground against all those atrocities and fought against victimisation. There was not a single worker, who did not have some punishments for participation in the strike. The sacrifice and commitment exhibited by the workers on those days is a saga which never can be forgotten.
I am very happy to note that the Confederation of CG Employees and Workers have decided to celebrate the one year from 19th September 2017 to 19th September 2018 as 50th Anniversary of the 1968 strike and organise many programmes. This is necessary to inculcate in the minds of the new workers with how much sacrifice and valour our forefathers have fought for the demands of the workers and how the gains have been achieved.
As proposed by the Confederation, the 50th Anniversary on 19th September 2018 should be organised in such a way that a clear picture of the great struggle is known to all.