16th June 1992 Strike
The Strike was called for by the National Convention totally protesting against the government’s IMF/World Bank oriented policies, the danger arising out of indiscriminate privatisation of Postal and Telecom Services, Public Sector, LIC, Banks, retrenchment, closure of government departments, telephone exchanges, mass scale transfers, denial of DA, denial of regularization of casual and ED employees, implementation of arbitration awards etc. etc.
The 16th June Strike was a tremendous success participated by tens of lakhs of workers. The new leadership in E.III Union took initiative in organizing the strike. Instead of keeping aloof from the mainstream as was the policy of NFTE leadership, the new leadership wanted to be in struggle with the mainstream. And to a good extent it could be achieved.
In Telecom, besides the traditional strong areas such as Kerala, W.Bengal or Assam, the strike elicited good response from many places like A.P., U.P., T.Nadu, Madras TD, M.P., Nagpur and a few places in Maharashtra. While NFPE gave call for full participation, NFTE had called upon their workers to take suitable decision on strike, on the basis their capacity. Had NFTE given a clear all, the strike in telecom would have been much more effective.
Show cause notices and dies-non were issued to employees in many places for participation in the strike. E.III Union took up the cases strongly with the administration. While some cases could be settled, the victimization continued putting many employees to untold difficulties. It is only through struggles that the working class can advance. It is only through their own experience that the working class can learn the lessons of class struggle.
Telecom organizations writes to Communications Minister on Structural Changes
The major telecom organizations including E.III, T.III, FNTO, BTEF, TESA, AIP&TFASOA met on 15-08-1992 and decided to oppose the proposed structural changes being proposed by DOT and decided to address a letter to the Communications Minister. NFTE leadership did not cooperate. According to the decision, a detailed letter was sent to Rajesh Pilot, Minister of State for Communications on 17th August 1992 conveying the strong protest. It was demanded that the Athreya Committee report which recommended the structural changes be scrapped and no step taken for implementing the same. The letter was signed by Ch. Raghubir Singh, Leader Staff Side, JCM, R.Venkatraman(FNTO), V.P.Chawla(BTEF), S.Basu(TESA), G.L.Jogi(JTOA), K.Satyanarayana (AIPTAFSOA), P.E.Jaipaul(NUTEE), P.S.Ramankutyy (T.III) and Moni Bose(E.III).
National Trade Union Convention on 13th September 1992
A National Trade Union Convention was organized by the Sponsoring Committee of Trade Unions at Mavlankar Hall, New Delhi, participated by delegates from all over the country. It strongly opposed the New Economic Policy of the government and decided for a massive March to Parliament on 25th November 1992.
It also decided to hold State/District level conventions, demonstration & rallies to make effective preparation for the Parliament March.
Parliament March on 25-11-1992 – A Land mark
A million people – workers, peasants, women, students, youth – all strata of society joined the mighty March to Parliament on 25th November 1992. They came all the way from different states with flags and festoons displaying their identity and marched to the Boat Club lawns, where the rally was held. Hardly was there any region or state which was unrepresented. It was truly a confluence of never ending stream of people and the march surpassed all previous records in terms of participation.
The rally was organized by the seven Central Trade Unions viz. AITUC, CITU, HMS, UTUC, UTUC (Lenin Sarani), AICCTU & TUCC. More than 40 Federations also participated. M.K.Pandhe(CITU), A.B.Bardhan (AITUC), Chitta Basu(TUCC), Umraomal Purohit(HMS), Swapan Mukherjee (AICCTU) & other leaders addressed.
The Indian economy was brought to the brink of virtual collapse and has thrown the common man to untold miseries. The increasing prices of essential commodities together with legislation of closure, lock-outs and retrenchment have brought a colossal disaster to the nation. All programmes of rural development were being abandoned on the dictates from the IMF-World Bank bosses who have heaped upon the Indian people the burden of Rs. 2.25 lakh crores. The country has got in to a debt trap. The negative export growth and inhuman liberalization of trade have helped imperialism o penetration to the country’s economy like never before.
The March on 25th November 1992 is a land mark in the history of the Indian Democratic and Trade Union movement. The Central Government employees felt proud for throwing their entire weight and energy for the ever biggest mobilization along with the toiling masses. Large contingent of CG employees came from all parts. Workers of Delhi gave a colourful and befitting welcome to the marchers. The entire CG employees organizations at Delhi with all constituents of the Sponsoring Committee took upon themselves the task of playing host to those coming from distant places. CG employees from Delhi and adjoining states thronged in thousands for whom it was not necessary to provide accommodation. A well knit Preparatory Committee, a large volunteer force working day and night contributed for the success of the March. All these added glory to the organization. (To be continued)