.The Fifth General Strike on 11th December 1998
National Convention of Mass Organisations on 15th July 1995
A National Convention of mass organisation of workers, peasants, agricultural wokers, women, youth, students, employees and other sections of working people was held at Mavlankar Hall, New Delhi on 15th July 1995 to discuss about the serious situation arising out of the disastrous economic and industrial policy of the government which was creating havoc in the country as a whole. The Convention was attended by thousands from all over the country.
It reviewed the earlier struggles by the working class and the present situation arising out of the anti-people policies of the government. Bitter result of the GATT agreement could be seen by increased exploitation and loot of the people. The new economic policy has brought much hardship. There is not a single section of the working people who remain unaffected by them.
The public distribution system has virtually collapsed. Number of unemployed are increasing. Due to closure of industries more than one crore twenty four lakhs workers are rendered jobless. Unemployment in rural areas are much more.
Reduction in agricultural subsidy has seriously and adversely affected the peasants. Public Sector Units are being closed or disinvested. Giant foreign companies are capturing the markets.
Communal forces have become more agressive, with the government sitting silent. Women are the worst sufferers due to the new economic policy. Attacks on trade union and democratic funactioning continue.
After speeches by the national leaders and discussion, a Charter of Demands including all major demands was adopted with the following agitational programmes:
- State/District level conventions by September 1995.
- Protest Rallies in District head Quarters on 15th September.
- Organising Padayatras in states.
- Massive Dharna in front of Parliament in November 1995.
- Preparing for a Nationwide industrial and other actions by all constituents of the National Platform of mass Organisations.
The programmes were implemented effectively.
Another National Convention under the auspices of the National Platform of Mass Organisations was held at New Delhi on 12th August 1998 and the following programme of actions was decided:
- Holding of State/District level Conventions to be completed by October 1998
- Massive rallies at State capitals in November 1998.
- Nationawide General Strike on 11th December 1998.
General Strike on 11th December 1998
As per the decision of the National Convention, the General Strike was organised with participation of more than 4 crore workers. It completely paralyed the industrial activity in the country. Industrial workers, employees of Central and State government and public sector, teachers, peasantry, agricultural labourers – all participated in this massive strike action. The Swadeshi, anti-MNC mask of BJP while in opposition was exposed when it came in to power. It was surrendring to the IMF-World Bank combine as like the earlier Congress government.
The successful December 11th General Strike has shown that the workers and common people are determined to resist and defeat the anti-people policies of the government.