The 8th General Strike on 21st May 2003.
National Protest day on 14th March 2002.
As per the call of the Central Trade Unions AITUC, BMS, CITU, HMS, TUCC, UTUC and UTUC-LS the following action programmes were organised against the neo-liberal policies and anti-people, anti-worker decisions of the central government:
1. Massive Joint Conventions in the metropolis and industrial centres in February 2002.
2. National Protest Day on 14th March 2002 through massive joint demonstrations.
CPSTU Convention on 5th March 2002 – Strike on 16th April 2002
The All India Convention organised under the auspices of Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions (CPSTU) at Sapru House, New Delhi was participated by a large number of workers from the various PSUs. Com.E.Balanandan(CITU), Chittaranjan (AITUC) and other leaders presided. Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri addressed on behalf of BSNLEU along with many other leaders.
A detailed Resolution against the anti-worker policies of the government with specific mention about the attacks on the working class in various PSUs was adopted by the Convention. It was decided to organise a Countrywide Strike on 16th April 2002, AGAINST:
1. Outright sale or disinvestment of shares of PSUs
2. Downsizing /Retrenchment and uncalled for closure of sick PSUs
3. Attack on TU rights – Pro-employees changes in labor laws
4. Looting the working class and people by heavier tax burden.
The strike was a good success with massive participation.
CTU’s meeting on 15th July 2002
A meeting of Presidents and General Secretaries of Central Trade Unions AITUC, BMS, CITU, HMS, INTUC, AICCTU, TUCC, UTUC and UTUC(LS) as also Independent Federations was held at the the office of the HMS, Babar Road, New Delhi, presided by Com.Umraomal Purohit (HMS).
The Convention unanimously decided to consolidate the unity of the trade unions so far achieved and carry forward the unified struggle in support of the minimum demands in which all the CTUs are in agreement. A National Convention was decided to be held on 15th July 2002 for this purpose. The importance of this meeting was that more central trade unions have joined the common platform.
The National Assembly of Workers on 15th July 2002
On 15th July 2002, the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi witnessed the National Assembly of Workers with more than 5000 representatives who have gathered to chalk out sustained struggles against the anti-labour and wrong economic policies of the NDA government. All the Central Trade Unions except BMS participated. Representatives unions of Central, State, PSU trade unions were also present.
The National Assembly decided to make the widest mobilisation of the masses against the anti-people policies of the government. V.A.N.Namboodiri participated and addressed representing telecom workers. The following action programmes were decided:
1. 19th August 2002 to be observed as Day of Pledge with continuous propaganda from 19th to 24th August 2002.
2. District level mobilisation on 23-28 September 2002
3. State level joint rallies on 18-23 November 2002
4. Massive Sathyagraha in all states.
These programmes were organised with massive participation.
Workers March to Parliament on 26th February 2002.
As per the call of the AICCTU, AITUC, CITU, HMS, INTUC, TUCC, UTUC, UTUC (LS) and Independent Federations, lakhs of workers from all parts of India marched towards Parliament on 26-02-2003 protesting against the wrong policies of the government and focussing on the demands of the workers. About 300 comrades from BSNLEU also participated. The march was stopped at the Ranjt Singh Flyover by police, where the rally was held. M.K.Pandhe, (CITU), Umraomal Purohit (HMS), Gurudas Dasgupta (AITUC) and other leaders addressed.
A detailed resolution was adopted against the anti-people policies of the government. It was decided to hold a wider consultation meeting on 12th March 2003 to decide the date of the strike and other details of the Charter of Demands.
The National Consultation Meeting of Trade Unions held on 12th March 2003 at New Delhi finalised the Charter of Demands and called upon the workers to go on a Countrywide General strike on 21st May 2003 with intensive campaign and preparatory action programmes.
The Eight General Strike on 21-05-2003
The General Strike on 21st May 2003 was participated by crores of workers, the biggest strike since the struggle started against the neo-liberal policies. Even the national dailies reported the strike in a very positive way mentioning about its success.